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President : 

Vice-Presidents : 

His Grace The Most Rev. T. P. Gilmartin. D.D. 

His Lordship The Most Rev. M. J. Browne, D.D.. D.C.L. 

Right Rev. The Hon. B. J. Plunket. 

H. G. Leask, M.R.I.A. 

Hon. Secretmy and Treasurer and Editor of Journal : 
Mrs. M. D. O'Sullivan. 

The annual subscription to the Society is 1 0/- for which 
Members receive the Journal free. 

Tlie Journal of the Society is pubHshed annually. The price 
of the Journal is 10s. per issue. 

Ail communications should be addressed to : — 

Mrs. M. D. O'Sullivan. Lisgorm. Galway. 

qnm-""^^ Public Lmf^ 
900 \/.^-or street ' 
^0 Box 22.0 




The Use of Leisure in Old Galway. By M. D. 

O'Sullivan, M.A., F.R.Hisi.S 99 

Two Bronze Age Burials at Carrowbeg North, 
Belclare, Co. Galway. By C. F. Willmot ; with 
Geological Note hy C. D. Ovey, B.Sc, F.C.5., and 
Report on the Human Remains by Professor Stephen 
Shea, M.D 121 

On the Temporalities of the Augustinian Abbey of 
St. Mary the Virgin. Cong, Co. Mayo. By Mkhedl 
O Duigeanndin, M.A 141 

The Tumulus-Cemetery of Carrowjames, Co. Mayo. 

By Joseph Raflery, M.A., Dr. Phil 157 

Doorway and Window, St. Augustine Street, Galway. 

By Harold C. Leask, M.R.I. A. 169 

Some Documents relating to Galway. Ed. by M. D. 

O'Sullivan, M.A., F.R.Hist.S 170 

A Letter from Roderic OTlaherty to William 

Molyneux, 1697. Ed. by Michedl O Duigeanndin, M.A. 183 

Reviews, &c 186 

7 it, 

Digitized by tine Internet Arciiive 

in 2010 witii funding from 

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center 

[ 99 ] 





VOL. ^^KT, Nos. iii & iv, 1939. 

The Use of Leisure in 
Old Galway 

By M. D. O'SULLIVAN, M.A., F.R.Hist.S. 

" Let us now come to the sports and pastimes, seeing it is 
fit that a Citie should not only be commodious and serious, 
but also merrie and sportful," wrote John Stowe, the cele- 
brated antiquary, of his beloved London,* and, certainly, no 
study of town life in any period could be complete without 
some survey of the amusements of the people and the use 
to which they put their leisure. In regard to the Middle 
Ages particularly, the history of sports and pastimes is illumi- 
nating, not only in so far as it illustrates the development 
of the individual games themselves, but because of the light 
it throws on the attitude to life generally of the mediaeval 
mind. Thus while most of our modern sports and games are 
to be found in some elementary form in the Middle Ages, 
there is a wide divergence between the mediaeval and the 
modern point of view in regard to sport and bodily exercises. 
The fact is that, under the influence of the mediaeval Church 

* Survey of London, (ed. 1633) p. 75, 


especially, emphasis was laid in those far-off days on the 
soul rather than the body, and the Greek ideal of mens sana 
in cor pore sano, to which the modern world has reverted 
with enthusiasm, made little appeal to men who thought 
largely in terms of the vanity of life and the certainty of 
death and who could even sometimes persuade themselves 
that sickness of the body was good for mental progress.* 
Nevertheless, human nature being what it is, the need for 
relaxation was felt as powerfully then as it is today, and, 
despite the lack of encouragement on the part of the more 
ascetic minds, games continued to develop and to bring their 
meed of pleasure, alike to ardent youth fired by the sheer 
joy of combat, and to more settled age seeking merely legi- 
timate relief from exacting daily toil. But in all the circum- 
stances it is not surprising to find that progress in the develop- 
ment of games was slow, and, in particular, their organization 
was defective, while, true to the spirit of that age, considerable 
control over them came to be established by the State. 

The Roman-feudal conception of government was, as we 
know, that authority came from above, that is to say, govern- 
ment was essentially for the people, not by the people. The 
result was that, generally speaking, in mediaeval times the 
life of the populus was strictly regulated in all its phases, and 
even in the towns, which were to a great extent self-governing, 
power, quite regularly, soon passed into the hands of an 
oligarchy who saw to it that the life of the average citizen 
should be lived strictly according to pattern. Because of that 
we find, for instance, trade hedged in by innumerable regula- 
tions, the wages of workmen and the prices of commodities 
fixed, and a strict watch kept upon buying and selling — all, 
ostensibly, with the benevolent idea of securing the greatest 
happiness for the greatest number. But if the hours of toil 
and the circumstances of labour were, in this manner, care- 
fully ordered, so, to a great extent, also were the occasions 
of leisure and the amusements of the people — a governmental 
polic}' which seems strangely alien to our modern democratic 

♦ Coulton in his Mediaeval Panorama, p. 591, however, points out that 
"the great early Scholastics, such as Albert the Great and St. Thomas Aquinas, 
give moderate approval to Aristotle's praise of bodily exercise as beneficial 
to man's development on the whole." 


ideas, but one with which, nevertheless, the totahtarian states 
of present-day Europe are fast becoming famiUar in their 
reversion to mediaevaUsm. 

In the Middle Ages, of course, leisure was not quite so 
plentiful as it is today in an age of machinery, labour-saving 
devices, and Trades Unionism. Actually, the working hours 
were long, generally from 5 a.m. till 7 or 8 p.m., with half an 
hour off for breakfast and an hour and a half for dinner.* 
Saturday was usually a half holiday, and, naturally, no work 
was done on Sundays or Church festivals. Still, the problem 
of how best to employ the hours of freedom, such as they were, 
was an important one not merely to the individual, but to the 
community, and, so far as they could do it, the Government 
undertook to solve it to their own ends. Two main motives 
seem to have inspired this policy of active interference on the 
part of the authorities. In the first place, those pastimes 
and accomplishments, which could in any way be regarded as 
martial and, therefore, likely to produce a good soldier, were 
definitely encouraged, and, secondly, all games which might 
lead to undue betting and gambling, and, therefore, to disorder, 
were at a discount and regularly prohibited — " unlawful 
games," they are called again and again. But a policy of this 
kind takes little account of the human factor with the result 
that the ends of Government in regard to the proper use of 
leisure were by no means achieved, and notwithstanding all 
the exhortation from on high, many of the more soldierly 
accomplishments gradually fell into disuse, while betting and 
gambling did not vanish, but were simply driven underground. 

The chief sport encouraged in mediaeval times was, of 
course, archery. This was a very old accomplishment. In 
England it had been practised by the Saxons and the Danes, 
and its employment became general under the Normans — 
England, indeed, invariably owed her victory in the field of 
battle in mediaeval times to the skill of her archers. There 
were two kinds of bow in use, the long bow, which was the 
original weapon and the one most favoured by the English, 
and the cross bow, a much shorter weapon, discharged by 
means of a catch or trigger. Before the introduction of the 

♦ Stat. II, Hen. VII, Cap. 22. 


gun the long bow was, no doubt, the chief weapon of defence, 
and abJHty to handle it was sedulously cultivated by the central 
Government* and b\' the municipal authorities, not merely 
in the English, but in the Irish towns. Under the Statute of 
Winchester, for instance, which was introduced into England 
in 1285 and applied to Ireland in 1308, f it was laid down 
that in the towns — and Galway was no exception to the rule 
— every man of military age, that is, between the ages of 
16 and 60 years, should provide himself with a long bow and 
practise the use of it for the purpose of defending the town. 
Fathers and guardians were supposed to teach the male 
children the use of the weapon and masters had to supply 
it to their apprentices and compel them to learn to shoot 
with it in their company and under their scrutiny on holidays 
and at an}- other convenient time.i 

But notwithstanding all the efforts of the authorities, 
archery continued to decline in Galway, as elsewhere, and the 
very reiteration of the exhortation to use the long bow shows 
the weakness of the Corporation's case. The fact is, that, after 
the introduction of gunpowder, hand guns were everywhere 
steadil}- superseding the long bow, and even in Galway by the 
close of the fifteenth century, if not earlier, muskets came to 
be generally used. Thus in 1517 we find the Corporation 
forbidding the citizens to sell privately or openly to any 
Irishman or " suspected persons in waye of rebellion, anny 
invincion, as hand-gounis, callivers, poulder, leade, nor sall- 
petter,"§ a prohibition which certainly leaves us to suppose 
that guns had for some time been familiar to the townsmen. 

* In the reign of Henry \'II the use of the cross bow was forbidden by- 
law (Stat. 29, Hen. VII, 1508). Henr>' VIII renewed the prohibition (Stat. 
6, Hen. VIII, cap. 13), but it was ineffective with the result that twenty 
years later he passed a statute [Stat. 25, Hen. VTII, cap 17) inflicting a 
fine of £lO on any one keeping a cross bow in the house. All these measures, 
however, were of no avail and the cross bow continued to be used in succeed- 
ing reigns. In Galway it was used well into the sixteenth century. See Corp. 
MSS., Bk. A,io\. (23). 

t Berry : Statutes and Ordinances, I Ed., II, cap iv. 

X Cf. Corp. MSS.. Bk. A, fol. (3). For the purpose of ensuring that this 
regulation was carried out a view of arms was held thrice every year. Cf. : 
" That every man that answerith not the cr>'e or skrimishe at every of the 
town gattes, at the begining, with his feansabull [defensive] weapon, to 
paie and forfayte xiid." — Ibid., fol. (11). See also Berry : Statute Rolls. Ill, 
5 Ed., IV, cap. xviii. 

5 Corp. MSS., Bk. A. fol. [23]. . . 


Nevertheless, even here at the opening of the sixteenth century, 
it is obvious that both the long bow and the cross bow were 
still regarded by the Corporation as perhaps the most important 
weapons of attack and defence, since they, too, were not, 
under heaw penalt}^ to be given into the dangerous custody 
of an Irish native.* Furthermore, some ten years later the 
authorities revert once more to the desirability of keeping 
up the practice of archery, and the Mayor and Council try to 
encourage shooting with the long bow and the cross bow 
under penalty of a fine.! But the response cannot have been 
what was desired because, before another decade had elapsed, 
Henry Ylll deemed it necessar}' to order the 3'oung men to 
supply themselves at once with long bows and English arrows, 
to practise hunting and shooting, especially on holidays, and 
"to leave all other unlawful games, "j Clearly, the authorities 
were struggling against the current of the time, and archery, 
for all its official patronage, was already destined to be rele- 
gated to the limbo of a forgotten art. 

It is not always easy to follow the motives which led the 
Crown and the Corporation to favour some games at the 
expense of others, but we find that the hurling of darts and 
spears, for example, was regarded, in Galway, at least, as a 
laudable pastime as was also pla3'ing with " the great foote 
balle."§ This last was a characteristically English game and 
perhaps that was its chief merit in the eyes of the Corporation 
because it is noticeable that its practise is encouraged in 
opposition to " the horlinge of the litill balle with hockie 
stickes or staves," and to " hande ball " played " without 
the waUes."ii Hurling, as we know, was a ver}^ ancient Irish 
game, and, apparently, it had made its influence felt within 
the town of Galway much to the chagrin of the English-minded 
merchant obligarch}-, but the hand ball referred to in the 
prohibition was something very different from the game 
which is now so popular in Ireland, bidding fair to rival hurling 

* Corp. MSS.. Bk. A, fol. [23]. 

t Ibid., foL 33. 

J Ordinances for Galwav, 1536. — S. P. Irel., Hen. VIII, III, Xo. 18. 

§ Corp. MSS., Bk. A^ fol. 33. 

II Ibid. 

Football had become so popular in England among the common people 
that it was prohibited by a pubhc edict in 1 349 as impeding the progress of 
archery. — Strutt : Games and Pastimes of England, p. 100.' 


itself, and which so much resembles the English game of fives. 
Handball, as practised in old Galway, was a species of hand 
tennis in which the ball was received and driven back from one 
person to another with the palm of the hand, sometimes bare 
but very often covered with a glove. It was viewed askance 
by the Corporation, not because it was an essentially Irish 
game, for it was not, but probably because it was a sport on 
which it had long been customary to gamble, and which, in 
view of its great popularity, like so many others, tended to 
divert the mind of the young men from more martial pursuits. 
Besides hurling and handball several other games came 
under the disapproval of the Corporation, essentially, however, 
for the reason that they were being practised by the young 
men to the neglect of archery. Amongst these was the casting 
of stones and the game of quoits. The former had become so 
popular, and was, therefore, taking up so much of the time of 
the youth of London and other towns in England, that Edward 
III late in his reign issued an edict to prohibit it,* and, doubt- 
less, the rulers of Galway in a similar dilemma more than a 
century later felt they could not do better than follow in the 
royal footsteps. In any case, the casting of heavy weights 
and stones in days when grounds were poor, umpires non- 
existent, and quarrels frequent, was not without an element 
of danger to the onlookers, and this must have been an aspect 
of the pastime which the Corporation could not afford to 
neglect. Again, with regard to quoits, it must be remarked 
that the mediaeval game of that name was not quite so in- 
nocuous as its modern counterpart. The older quoit, said to 
have derived from the ancient discus, was a circular plate of 
iron perforated in the middle and not always of the same size 
but smaller or larger according to the choice of the individual 
player. It was thrown at a mark fixed in the ground. The game 
could be played by two people, but generally there were 
teams of four, eight, or more. It had become such a universal 
favourite in England that it was regarded as making a most 
insidious attack upon the cherished archery and was therefore 
classed as an " unlawful game " by Edward IV. f In these 
circumstances it is not surprising to find that a body like the 

* Strutt : op. cit., p. 75. 
\ Ibid., p. Ixi. 


Galway Corporation, English in outlook and traditions, should 
so far as lay in their power, uphold the royal prohibition, 
and so in 1527 a municipal statute was passed whereby it 
was " ordered, enactid and statutid that what so ever man 
is found, of what degre or condicion so ever he be of, plainge 
at choyttes [quoits] or stonis, but only to shute in longe 
bowes, shorte crosboues and hurlinge of dartes or speres, to 
lesse at every tyme so founde in doinge the same viii.^."* 
The devotee of quoits, then, had henceforth to pay handsomely 
for his pleasure, but there seems no reason to suppose that 
this prohibition was, in fact, effective or contributed in any way 
to the consummation so devoutly wished by the authorities 
of Galway. 

The game of tennis, upon which the Corporation also 
frowned, appears to have been a hot favourite with the young 
men of the town and to have been conducive to a certain 
amount of gambling, hence in the indentures of apprentices 
in Galway we find it sometimes laid down that the appren- 
tice in question shall not " plaie his said maisters goodes " 
at, amongst other games, " tennies."t The particular pastime 
here referred to, of course, was not the modern game of lawn 
tennis, which is of very much later date, but " royal tennis," 
as it came to be called from the fact that it was played by 
various Kings of England and France. Reputed to have been 
introduced into England from France in Chaucer's time, it 
was universally popular in the sixteenth century and, 
admittedly, had found ready acceptance in old Galway. 

Though not specifically mentioned in the Corporation 
records of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the game of 
bowls was, most probably, known and enjoyed in Galway. 
This pastime had long been practised in England, having first 
made its appearance there about the thirteenth century. 
Specially made greens — bowling greens — are said to have 
originated in England,! ^^^ the fact that one such green 
existed in Galway, though from what date exactly is not quite 
clear to the writer, suggests that the game must have been 
familiar to the inhabitants of the town. 

* Corp. MSS.. Bk. A, fol. 33. 

t Ibid., fol. (97b). For other indentures see fols.(IOOb), (100*) and 102b. 

X Strutt : Op. cit.. p. 268. 


But if many of the outdoor pastimes which were in use 
amongst the people at large were classed as " unla\\'ful games " 
by the Corporation following upon the lead given in England, 
there were other open-air pursuits, namely, those associated 
vriih horsemanship, which were most carefully encouraged. 
Of all outdoor sports in mediaeval times perhaps hunting and 
falconrv were the most popular, and though they were generally 
regarded as the special preserve of the nobility and the landed 
gently, they were, undoubtedly, practised b\" the well-to-do 
in the towns, and certainly in Galwav. Horses, we know, 
were always plentiful in Ireland, thus the sport of hunting 
was racy of the soil and it was followed with enthusiasm — 
ever\- young man particularly aimed at making horsemanship 
part of his general equipment, so when Henr\- VIII exhorted 
the youth of Galwa\" to hunt regularly,* he was preaching 
to the converted. Royal edicts were not necessan,- to bring 
home the joys of the chase and hunting the deer continued 
to be a first favourite. It was therefore quite in keeping with 
tradition that in 156S, more than thirty- years after Henr\- VIII 
had issued his famous injunction, an Italian \"isitor to Galwav 
should describe a characteristic hunting scene in the inmiediate 
neighbourhood of the town as one of the most attractive 
sights that met his \-iew.- With hunting went, naturally, 
racing, and there seems httle doubt that the inhabitants of 
Galway must have tasted the thrills of horse-racing, even 
though such meetings had no place in the official records of 
the to"wn. Falconr\-, too, had its regular followers, and if we 
do not come across actual references to it in the contemporary^ 
documents, the mere fact that the exportation of hawks was 
prohibited by statute of the Corporation in 1530^ — people 
were, however, allowed to make presents of them to their 
friends — shows in what esteem the sport of falconn,- was held 
and how careful the authorities were to see that it should be 
regularly maintained. 

With horsemanship so universally cultivated, it was but 
natural to find that games which involved prowess in the 

• Ordinances for GaliLa;. , 1536.— S P. Ire!.. Hen. VIII, III, No. 18. 

t Annals of Galu.ay, MS. I, 4-11. — Trinirv- College, Dublia. See also 
Pictorial Map of Gal'j.ay, 1651. 

* Corp. MSS., Bk. A, foL 36. Falconry, naturally, declined when the 
musket was brought to perfection. 


equestrian act should be a feature of life in old Gahray, and 
so we leam that tilting or running at the ring was a regular 
sport of the young men of the upper classes. In the Pictorial 
Map of Galway, made in 1651, there is an interesting illustratioa 
of a horseman at the barrier about to ento" the lists to take 
part in this game. The barrier is diown as erected in MesTick, 
now E\Te Square, and a groap erf horsranen are dejMcted 
waiting for their turn to perform. Furthermoce, there is 
e^"idence that the sport was a r^nlar feature of the {HDgramme 
of the May-games.* The perfcMmer, who was equij^)ed with 
a lance, rode at full speed, and thrust the point of his weapon 
through the ring " which was supported in a case or shfath, 
by the means of two springs, but might be readily drawn oat 
by the force of the stroke, and remain upcHi the t<^ <rf tl^ 
lance."" Each performer was allowed three attempts, and 
" he who thrust the point of his lance throng it the oftoier, 
or, in case no such thing was done, stmck it the most freqoently 
was the ^ictor," i: and carried off the prize before the adnririi^ 
eyes of the ladies who came to witness and adjuii : i:t u-ion the 

In Galway, of course, as in all mediaeval towns, there 
were certain amusonoits associated specifically wit!- par- 
ticular seasons of the year or feasts such as, M:: iiL~as, 
Christmas, Easter, \Miitsuntide. May Day, iiiiiuzizifrs 
Eve, and Corpus ChristL At ^Michaelmas the Miv:r ini 
Bailifb took ofl&ce and the Mayor was solemnly escorted to his 
readence by "all the stattes and wor5hq)TrLL i iziiii: -'-^ 
applause of the assembled pt^pulace, while :r. : r i r :: that 
solemn event there were "the acostomid .ri v.- riir.itr 
banckes and feast es '" given by the newly electee izi-t:- by 
way of celebration, and if these were matters vv 'i : ~ : :. : Tmed 
only the more ^-;— - — ishe d citizens, the 7^: .t .: "^"^ 
thronged the streeis ina made merry, too. 1^:1 L:ie m^u^ur^ .. - 
of the new municipal year with its cnstomary and cd.c.inj- 
rittial was a festive time for all. 

p. 60. note. Cne-rili 
man's 'Qtat tittii^ at the nn^ was r^3.;"^.i^^i : 
"■ Stmtt : Op. dL, p. 124. 
; raid., p. 125. 

§ Cor^. MS5., Bk. A. ioL ^). 
I Ibid^ foL 5S. 


The Christmas and Easter celebrations, distinguished 
mainlv b\- the great Church ceremonies, were very much the 
same as they are today. But the general meetings of th» 
freemen held on these occasions,* and the processions and 
purely secular festivities associated with them, gave gaiety 
to the scene and the town found itself very much en fete. 
Besides, men shook off many of their wonted cares when 
household debts, the grocer's bill or the doctor's fee, or even 
the priest's dues could not be collected at these festivals nor 
during a period of twelve days afterwards, j Not only that but 
tips, Christmas-boxes and other gratuities of the kind, which 
so harass the impecunious but kind-hearted citizen today, 
were strictlv forbidden by law in old Galway,i so the man of 
modest means could, like his wealthier neighbour, give himself 
up with complete abandon to the merriment of the moment. 
But even in the city's rejoicings the orderly rulers of the town 
liked to preserve a measure of decorum, consequently they 
legislated against the wholesale entry of the natives at times 
such as these, lest the Irish, like the high-spirited apprentices, 
might be prone to celebrate not wisely but too well. Thus we 
read : " That no man of this town shall [h]oste or receve 
into ther houssis at Christemas, Easter, nor no feaste elles 
enny of the Burkes, Mac Williams, the Kellies, nor no cepte 
elles, withoute license of the Mayor and Counsaill for the 
tyme beinge, on payn to forfayt v li."^ 

One regular feature of the Christmas and Easter festivities, 
however, deserves particular mention, for, while once universal, 
it has now fallen into disuse, though not until very recently. 
This was the mummers' performance. Dr. Johnson defines a 

• Corp. MSS.. Bk. A. fol. (93). 

t Cf. : It ys ordered, edictid and statutid by the Counsaill, with one 
assente, that no prestes, sergantes, leeches, clerkes, toun meassengers or 
Irishe meassengers, porters, norssys, childrin, myllers, backers, shomakers, 
bouchers, or anny others shall not come to no mans housse at Cristemas, 
Easter or other feastes, to dessyre any offreinges or deuties during the holy 
days or within xii days after any the said feastes." — Corp. MSS., Bk. ^, fol. 49. 

J Cf. ; " That neither porters, harpers, messengers, millers, bakers, bow- 
chers, or any nowrses, or any kynde of craftesman, do at no festival! tymes, 
or at any other tyme, come to any man is howse, to crave either for benbridge, 
offringe, meate, or any drinke, by any way whatsoever, in vayne, on pajme 
of imprisonment and loss of a crowne, as well of the giver as also of the 
offender." — Articles touching reformacions in the Commonwealth, 1585. Orig. 
MS. quot. by Hardiman : Hist, of Galway, p. 209. 

§ Corp. MS., Bk. A. fol. (24). 


mummer, as one who performs frolics in a personated dress, 
and the mediaeval mummer wore a mask, or, if he could not 
procure one, rubbed his face over with soot. In olden times, 
when streets were unlighted, many abuses, manifestly, were 
committed under the sanction of these disguisements, and so 
in London quite early an ordinance was passed against any 
one who appeared in the street with " a painted x-isage," while 
in the reign of Henr\' VIII the practise of mummen" was 
generally forbidden in England under penalty of a fine and 
imprisonment.* In Ireland, where there was still more scope 
for disorders under cover of a masked or sooted face, it was 
even more important, from the English Government's point 
of view, that mummers should be outlawed and they were.f 
Naturally, therefore, the Corporation of Galway could not be 
expected to look with favour on the mummers' art, but it is 
noteworthy that these shows were not positively forbidden, 
with the result that they continued to be a regular and popular 
feature of the Christmas and Easter festivites in the life of 
the town throughout its histor\'. 

At \Miitsuntide there was much enjoyment out of doors 
but perhaps the May-games were, of all seasonal pastimes, 
the most interesting. On the ist May the \'0ung people of both 
sexes arose in the early hours of the morning and, to the 
accompaniment of music, went to a neighbouring wood where 
they broke down branches from the trees and adorned them 
with flowers. With these, on their return home, they made 
their doors and windows gay. Then followed in the afternoon 
dancing round the ^lay-pole set in a convenient spot in the 
town, and in the evening there were bonfires and much spon- 
taneous gaiety. The games or celebrations lasted for three 
da3's. It seems to have been the custom in the to\\'ns of England 
— and, doubtless, the same was true of Galway^to elect a 
Lord and Lad}' of the ^lay who presided over the sports. 
There were various athletic contests, such as, running, jumping, 
wrestling, casting of weights, and, most important of all, 
tilting at the ring, and then, on the third day, to wind up 

* Strutt : Op. cit., p. 252. 

t In England they were tolerated at the Christmas and Easter festi\'itie5 
but only then. In the Irish Parhament of 1541 it was pro%-ided that no players 
or mummers should be allowed gratuties at Christmas or Easter under 
penaltj- of losing an ear. 


what Hardiman so aptly calls, these " homely but manly 
amusements," the young men were wont to ride out on horse- 
back to Blake's Hill and dine there at a spot between the 
Hill and the castle of Barna.* 

The festival of St. John or Mid-summer's Eve was another 
landmark in the life of the citizen of mediaeval Galway. In 
the evening the customary mayoral banquet took place, f and 
there was the press of eager crowds in the street wending 
their way merrily to the bonfires for the games and dancing. 
The whole populace turned out, for in the Middle Ages it was 
characteristic of town life that the gaieties, like the respon- 
sibilities and duties, should be enjoyed in common. It was in 
this spirit that the Mayor and his colleagues, resplendant in 
their robes of office, attended at the May-games and other 
celebrations, but if they did, they also found the pomp and 
circumstance of these occasions useful in satisfying the desire 
of the masses for colour and pageantry, and in distracting 
the thoughts of the poorer classes from a life which was other- 
wise drab. 

In mediaeval times one of the greatest festivals of the 
year was that of Corpus Christi. In the English towns it was 
characterised by two outstanding features, first, a great 
religious procession " in which the Host, escorted by local 
dignitaries, religious bodies, and guilds, was borne through 
the streets, and displayed successively at out-of-door stations," J 
and secondly, the performance of religious plays which were 
enacted on moveable stages or " pageants " in the streets by 
the various trade guilds. As a rule, each city or town had its 
own " cycle " or series of plays, which varied considerably 
in length, according, probably, to the number and wealth of 
the trade guilds. As far as the Irish towns are concerned, 
there is very little information available in regard to these 
plays. In the municipal records of Dublin we do find, however, 
under the date 1478, definite mention of the pageants of 
Corpus Christi Day,§ and from this one seems justified in 
concluding that a cycle of mystery plays was actually per- 

* lar-Connanght, p. 60, note. 

t Corp. MSS., Bk. A, fol. 58. 

X Chambers : Hist, of the Mediaeval Stage, II, p. 95. 

§ Gilbert : Cal. of Ancient Records of Dublin, I, pp. 239 and 241, 


formed in the streets of the capital, though there are reliable 
authorities who suggest that the pageants referred to " were 
merely dumb-show accompaniments of the Corpus Christi 
procession."* In Kilkenny, certainly, plays were acted, for 
we have records of their taking place there as late as 163 1 
and a book of plays was in existence even in 1637,! while it 
is just possible that they may have also figured in the Corpus 
Christi Day processions in other towns. But when we turn to 
Galway we find religious plays conspicuous by their absence — 
there is not a mention of them anywhere in the municipal 
records or other contemporary documents. The fact is, in 
Galway the trade guilds, whose peculiar province these plays 
were, were relatively unimportant. They were late in coming, 
and the merchant obligarch3% embodying the purely aristo- 
cratic principle of government, had got too long a start ever 
to have allowed them assume a position of significance within 
the town. While, in other towns, their members could aspire 
to municipal office, in Galway, no such thing was possible — 
the Common Council remained a closed body to them : it was 
the preserve of the " Tribes." Thus, too, many of their social 
activities, like the production of these plays, which were such 
a notable feature of their existence elsewhere, are, unfortu- 
nately, in Galway entirely lacking. On the other hand, the 
Guild of Corpus Christi, | as it was called, which had charge 
of the procession specially, was, in all likelihood, composed 
of the upper classes, hence in Galway we get the procession 
and the procession alone. 

But if we miss the popular dramatic form, the mystery and 
morality plays of the trade guilds, and if the people at large 
were, on this account, unfamiliar with those heralds of the 
Elizabethan drama proper, the leisured classes, definitely, 
as we know from the Lord Deputy Sir William Russell, had 
their masques and ballets. On the 17th November, 1595, Sir 
William arrived in Galway, and there assembled to meet him 

* Seymour : Anglo-Irish Literature, p. 124. 

f Lynch : Historia Ecclesiastica Hiberniae, — MS. K. 6., 15-16. — Trinity 
College, Dublin ; Trans, of the Kilkenny Arch. Society, II, p. 322. The whole 
subject is ably discussed by Seymour : Op. cit., chap. VIII. 

X According to Mrs. Stopford Green, the Corpus Christi Guild " played 
a political part in the life of every great town " in England. — Town Life in 
the Fifteenth Century, I, p. 150. 


" the Earls of Kildare, Thomond, and Clanricarde, Lords 
Brimegeam, Roche, and DimkelHe, and divers knights and 
gentlemen,"* who mingled with the merchant aristocracy to 
pay honour to the noble guest. Banquets and recreation were 
the order of the day, and, since the Lord Deput}- remained over 
the Christmas holidays, Galway witnessed exceptional scenes 
of gaiety and ceremonial, until one morning they were rudely 
interrupted by the disturbing news that O'Donnell had once 
more over-run Connaught. But of all the items in Sir 
William's carefully kept Journal perhaps the one that 
interests us most at the moment is the following entry : 
" December ist 1595 — This night the noblemen and 
captains presented my Lord with a mask." Thus here 
in the sixteenth century in this remote town, " at the end of 
the earth in Ireland," we find a performance of that delicate 
dramatic form just then so popular at the Court in London 
and at the princely entertainments in the great aristocratic 
houses of England, a form which could claim amongst its 
sponsors some of the greatest names in English literature, 
such as Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and Milton. Truly, Galway 
was abreast of the times. 

Indeed, these comings of the Lord Deputy, sufficiently 
rare in themselves to be memorable, were occasions of great 
excitement for the population generally, even if their 
role was essentially that of onlooker. Ceremonial was 
always fittingly emphasized, and, clad in their scarlet 
gowns, and wearing the full regalia of their office, the Mayor 
and Aldermen, assisted by the other members of the Common 
Council, went out to meet the distinguished visitor at the city 
gates, handed him over the keys of the town, and, receiving 
them back again to mark the city's independence, welcomed 
him formally in a Latin address, escorting him later to the 
Church where he was suitably received by the ecclesiastical 
authorities and attended divine service. The colourful pro- 
cession wound its way through streets lined with the young 
men or urban militia in full equipment, while guns resounded 
and the masses lent their plaudits to a truly unforgettable 

• Journal of Sir William Russell— Cal. Car. MSS. III. p. 238-39. 


scene.* In the evening there was a great municipal banquet 
and the people at large thronged the streets imbued with 
the festive spirit. This was, emphatically, the public event 
par excellence in the life of the sixteenth century townsmen 
when merchant obligarchy and commonalty alike were made 
proudly conscious of the heritage that was theirs in " the 
commonwealth of Galway." 

From its situation Galway, obviously, offered then, as now, 
splendid facilities for aquatic sports — swimming, sailing, row- 
ing, and probably that favourite mediaeval game of boat justs 
or tilting upon the water. " The conqueror at these justs," 
says an authority, " was the champion who could dexterously 
turn aside the blow of his antagonist with his shield, and at 
the same time strike with his lance in such a manner as to 
overthrow him into the river, himself remaining unmoved 
from his station ; and perhaps not a little depended upon the 
skill of the rowers. "f But, above all, fishing must have been a 
favourite sport in mediaeval Galway. | The river Corrib, in 
olden times as today, had a plentiful supply of salmon, trout, 
and eels, a fact which is borne out by many notices in the 
Corporation records, so legitimate fishing, and possibly much 
poaching, § were a regular means of recreation among the 
townsmen. Finally, if we may judge from contemporary 
literature, winters then seem to have been much harder than 
they are today, and the young people of old Galway must 
often have experienced the incomparable thrill of skating, 
that invigorating pastime which now, unfortunately, in milder 
climatic conditions can so rarely be enjoyed. 

Indoors, people amused themselves, naturally, with music, 
singing, and dancing, the harp being the favourite musical 
instrument. Indeed, in the more cultured circles a knowledge 
of music was considered almost an essential accomplishment, 
and with women particularly the study of music was exceed- 
ingly fashionable. The harp was played by all classes, and, of 

* The Earl of Sussex, Lord Leonard Grey, Sir Henry Sidney, and Sir 
William Russell have left impressive descriptions of these occasions. All 
alike comment upon the wonderful hospitality they received in Galway. 

t Strutt : Op. cit, p. 147. 

X See Pictorial Map of Galway, 1651. 

§ Cf. : " Poaching was naturally then, as always, the villager's most 
exciting sport." — Coulton : Mediaeval Panorama, p. 593. 


course, it was the special instrument of the wandering min- 
strels* — " rimers " and " harpers," they are invariably called 
in the legislation which was repeatedly enacted against them 
by the English authorities in Ireland. f In the way of games, 
the inhabitants of old Galway most assuredly played chess 
which was extremely popular in the Middle Ages. The " noble " 
or " royal " pastime, as it came to be called, was of very 
great antiquity and was probably introduced into Europe from 
Asia. It was played in England before the Norman conquest 
and was soon a universal favourite. It is not mentioned by 
name in the municipal records of Galway undoubtedly because 
it was not the type of game to come under the censure of 
the Corporation. There was something staid, respectable, and 
leisurely about chess and it did not lead to gambling in the 
way that other games did. Possibly, too, the townsmen played 
some form of draughts. The game of draughts itself is com- 
paratively modern, but something like it was known and played 
in the Middle Ages in the towns of England,:!: and that being so 
it is not far-fetched to suggest that the citizens of Galway, 
who believed in being up to date in all things,§ were acquainted 
with the game. 

But the indoor amusements which figure — and they figure 
largely — in the municipal records are dice, cards, and tables. 
In fact, so general were they that they led to universal gambling 
and the Mayor and Council were hard put to it to rescue the 
apprentices and other unwary youths from the pitfalls that 
surrounded them in the inns and gaming houses of the town, 
the situation being still further complicated by the presence 
of the Irish from without the gates who lived up to their 
reputation as gamblers and regularly frequented the gaming 
shops in Galway. In the indentures of apprentices it is there- 
fore constantly laid down that games of this kind are to be 
shunned, and amidst numerous references to them in the 
records, there is one very explicit notice which clearly portrays 

* The minstrels eventually deteriorated to street ballad singers who 
generally composed their own pieces and sang them in the streets, sometimes 
accompanying them with a fiddle. 

I See O'Rahilly : Irish Poets, Historians, and Judges in English Docu- 
ments (1538-1615).— P)-oc. R.I. A., Vol. XXXVI, Sect. C, No. 6. 

X Holmes : Mediaeval England, p. 122. 

§ Sir Henry Sidney, Lord Justice Pelham, Sir Oliver St. John and others 
bear interesting testimony to this quality of the inhabitants of Galway. 


the attitude of the Corporation to what was, apparently, a 
serious evil. Thus under the year 1528 we find a statute made 
by which " Yt ys ordered that in what housse, shope or seller 
(cellar) ther be founde players at cardes, dyce, tabulles, nor 
no other unlawfull gamys for monye, by yonge men and 
specialle by prentisys nor Irishemen, on payn to lose that 
some or quantit of such monye as the\' playe for. And also 
the housse, seller, or shope wherin they pla^'e to paye, excepte 
it be for meate and drink, and the same to be done by honeste 
men for recreacion — xxs."* 

Of course it was not merel}'' in Galway that cards and dice 
led to gambling. The evil quickly became rampant in England 
so that eventually in the reign of Henry Yll legislation was 
introduced against it.j By this apprentices were forbidden 
to play cards except during the Christmas holidays and then 
only in their master's houses. On such occasions also they played 
not for money, but for harmless things like "counters, nailes, 
and points,"! so very little moral damage can have been done. 
In any case, since the Christmas holidays appear to have 
extended from All-Hallow^s evening to the day after Candle- 
mas, § the apprentices can scarcely be said to have fared too 
badly in the matter of leisure for games. The supreme object 
of the Galway Corporation, who applied these rules strictly, 
was not so much to interfere with the legitimate amusement 
of the apprentices as to see that they did not fall into gambling 
habits in the town. In this respect it is noteworthy that the 
indentures of apprentices not only ruled out cards, dice, and 
tables altogether, except in the circumstances stated above, 
but even put a limit to the amount of money a youth could 
stake on a " lawful " game. Thus in 1587 when " Terrollagh 
O'Dowan, of Bunowan, in the county of Galway " was being 
apprenticed to " John Martin Fitz William, of Galway, mer- 
chant," it was stipulated that he should not " play at no 
unlawful games and yf at seldom tymes he should chaunce to 
pley at lawful games, that he shall not excede in pley not above 

* Corp. MSS.. Bk. A. foL [34]. 

t 11 Henry VII, cap. 2. 

X Stow : Survey of London, p. 79 " Points " were " narrow ribbons with 
which one part of the dress was attached to the other." — Strutt : Op. cit., 
p. 327, note. 

§ Stow : Op. cit., p. 79. 


the matter of . . . . "* It may be that, since Terrollagh 
O'Dowan was an Irish native — one of the few instances of 
such being apprenticed in Gahvay — the authorities felt a 
stricter watch should be kept on his gaming propensities, 
for this is a clause, curiously, which is not to be found in the 
other indentures that have been preserved. However, the spirit 
of all the indentures is the same and one comes away from a 
study of them with the feeling that the philosophy, " all work 
and no play makes Jack a dull boy," was not one which 
commended itself to the merchant rulers of Galway. 

Of the actual games comprehended under the general term 
" cards," it is impossible to speak with authority. Certainly 
the modern games of Whist and Bridge were unknown at this 
early period but it is altogether likely that in old Galway, as in 
the England of that day, the most popular games of cards 
were Primero, Trump, which was a great favourite among 
the lower classes and is said to have borne some resemblance 
to Whist, Gresco, on which apparently stakes were usually 
high, and Gleek.f But there must have been — indeed, there 
were — many other card games on which young and old could 
bet and lose their money. 

Dice playing is so ancient that one might almost suspect 
Adam and Eve must have whiled away some of their time at 
it in the garden of Eden. Certain it is that the ancient Greeks, 
the conquering Romans, the warlike Germans, the Saxons, 
Danes, and Normans, all were addicted to it, so a passion 
which was evidently universal could not be expected to leave 
mediaeval Galway untouched, and dice playing seems to have 
been something of a menace in the town, hence the reiterated 
statutes against the playing of dice publicly for money. 

The game of " tables " included under the same ban as 
cards and dice, was backgammon, but the apprentices were 
permitted to indulge in it, too, like the others, during the 
Christmas holidays and under proper supervision. It was a 
game which added the element of chance to something of the 
skill that was required of the player at chess, hence it was 

• Corp. MSS., Bk. A. fol. (100*). Unfortunately at this point the MS. 
is decayed so the exact figure set down is not available but it must have been 
something very small. 

t For all these see Strutt : Op. ciL, pp. 333-34. 


easier to learn than chess and was to that extent more exten- 
sively enjoyed. It was played somewhat differently from its 
more modern counterpart, indeed, we learn that " there were 
many methods of playing at the tables with the dice."* But 
though it seems to have been universally popular, since it 
could not accommodate so many players at a sitting as cards, 
the latter were, even in mediaeval times, a first favourite. 

So far we have been considering the use of leisure in mediae- 
val and sixteenth century Galway as it relates to the towns- 
men pureh', but no treatment of the subject could be regarded 
as complete without some mention of the pastimes and amuse- 
ments of the womenfolk. In the Middle Ages the position of 
women generally was none too satisfactory, and, amongst 
other things, their active participation in most outdoor games, 
which is a feature of modern life, was a thing unheard of, but, 
from our present point of view, it is ver}^ interesting to note 
that " one cause that made for the increase of women's freedom 
was the growth of towns. "f " In some respects," writes an 
authority in regard to this subject, " the Bourgeoisie showed 
a greater sense of the normal personality of women than did 
either the Aristocracy or the Church, borough law had to take 
account of the woman trader, and in many towns there existed 
' customs ' for the treatment of a married woman carrying 
on a trade of her own as 3. femme sole." I Besides, two of the 
most important industries, at least, were almost entirely in 
their hands because they could be carried on as by-industries 
in the home. These were the brewing of ale, which was drunk 
by everyone who could not afford wine — only the very poor 
drank water — and the spinning industry or making of cloth 
" which was the regular occupation of all women and the 
spinster's habitual means of support. "§ In the towns therefore 
there was a growing sense of equality among the sexes, an 
equality which was not without reflecting itself in regard to 
many of the customary amusements and pastimes. 

In old Galway, naturally, social freedom was greatest 
within the highest and the lowest classes as, indeed, it always 

* Strutt : Op. cit., p. 321. 

t Coulton : Mediaeval Panorama, p. 625. 

X Professor Eileen Power in The Legacy 0/ the Middle Ages, p. 407. 

§ Ibid., p. 412. 


is ex'en-where. The immense wealth of the mercantile families 
in Galway allowed their women to move in the circle of the 
aristocracy — they intermarried regularly with the nobility, 
native and Anglo-Irish — and that fact led to their expecting 
and receiving all the attentions which chivalry in those days 
paid to ladies, and permitted them to participate in the amuse- 
ments suited to their exalted station. Thus it is quite possible 
that the daughters of the merchant families in old Galway 
hunted to some extent, for they were certainh^ at home in 
the saddle, and it is more than probable that they regularly 
indulged in hawking or falconry which was a very favourite 
pastime of women amongst the upper ranks of society in the 
IMiddle Ages, as it was, equally, of the clerg}^ Gardening and 
the cultivation of flowers particularly also occupied them much 
out of doors, while, indoors, they spent a great deal of their 
time in the stud\- of music and the practice of embroidery, 
though the}' also regularly played at cards, dice, and tables, 
and many a time and oft must have sacrificed their beauty 
sleep to a game of chess. Amusements which we have long since 
relegated to the nurser\' were, too, popular with the ladies, 
and blind man's buff and especially riddle and answer games 
were great favourites. The ladies were also regularly present 
at the banquets and entertainments given in different houses 
on great occasions such as that of the visit of a Lord Deputy.* 
Finally, dancing was then, as now, a supreme attraction. It 
was a regular amusement amongst all ranks of society, and 
while the aristocrats had their evening entertainments, where, 
in gail}- decorated and lighted saloons, they tripped it lightly 
to the music of fiddle and harp, the girls of humbler rank and 
the working maidens gathered on the greens and open spaces 
or round the festive bonfire in the evening and danced merrily 
into the night. 

There was one other notable means by which women of the 
more cultured classes filled in their leisure time in old Galway, 

* Journal of Sir William Russell.— Cal. Cay. MSS.. III. pp. 238-39 It is 
worthy of note that " gate-crashing " which modern hostesses find so tire- 
some, was rendered impossible in old Galway, where it was laid down " That 
none do presume to inter into any house of banckett (banquet) without he 
be convided [invited], and yf he be convided, to have his billet under the 
convider's hand, on payne of a croune. — "Articles touching reformacions in 
the Commonwealth, \5^5.-Orig. iV/5. quoted by Hardiman : Hist, of Galway, 
p. 209. 


that is reading and the enrichment of their minds by literature. 
In the later Middle Ages, according to a reliable authority, 
"though very few women arrived at anything like the university 
stage in education, it seems probable that more of them could 
read and write than the men, especially in the upper classes."* 
Certainly, the women of the merchant families of Galway 
must have been remarkably well read, for we have a striking 
testimony to the fact in the statement of that famous sixteenth 
century wit and writer. Sir John Harington, one of the best 
known literary figures of his day. Harington, widely travelled 
and a typical Renaissance scholar, had translated the Orlando 
Furioso of Ariosto into English. Then, one day, like so many 
more men of his school, he found himself in Ireland in the 
service of Elizabeth. He paid two visits to Galway where, 
naturall\% he met and mingled with the merchant aristocracy. 
But though he expected to find the ladies of that circle accom- 
plished, he was nothing short of amazed to discover the literary 
tastes of at least some of them and the remarkable way in 
which they kept au courant with the best literature of the 
age. For within a few years of its publication his translation 
of the Orlando Furioso was being read enthusiastically by 
some of the young women in Galway. " My Ariosto," 
he writes, " has been entertained into Gallway before I came. 
When I got thither, a great lady, a young lady, and a fair 
lady, read herself asleep, nay dead, with a tale of it ; the 
verse, I think, so lively figured her fortune ; for as Olimpia 
was forsaken b}^ the ungrateful B\^reno, so had this lady 
been left by her unkind Calisthenes ; whose hard dealing 
with her cannot be excused, no not by Demosthenes." f 
It is a commonplace to observe that the Renaissance left 
Ireland unaffected, but in the light of statements like that of 
Sir John Harington, this generalisation must be corrected. 
Clearly, in the towns, at any rate, there were not wanting those 
who went out with enquiring minds to greet the new dawn of 

Life in old Galway, then, had, undoubtedly, its lighter side, 
but what strikes us most about it is, that it was extraordinarily 
disciplined in all its phases. Work was strenuous, and in this 

* Coulton : Mediaeval Panorama, p. 627. 

t Sir John Harington : Nugae Antiquae, I, p. 260. 


respect the merchant adventurers themselves gave a fitting 
example to all those whose destinies they guided, for these men 
not onh' toiled hard daily in their stores and counting houses, 
but regular!}- they went down to the sea in ships, to battle 
through long weeks and months perhaps, with the treacherous 
elements and that still more dangerous foe, the lurking priva- 
teer. Men made of such stuff as this expected work and dis- 
cipline from their subordinates and they got it, but this same 
sense of order and discipline led them to interfere drastically 
in the leisure hours of the citizens, an interference which we do 
not find it so easy to understand. Nevertheless, even here as 
we proceed to pronounce judgment upon them, we must at 
least concede that in this stern ordering of the amusements 
and pastimes of the people the motive of the merchant obli- 
garchy was altogether praiseworthy, for they sought merely 
the greater good of " the commonwealth of Galway." 

[ 121 

Two Bronze Age Burials 

at Carrowbeg North, Belclare 
Co. Galway 



In August 1937 under the State financed scheme for the 
reUef of unemployment, two mounds in the townland of 
Carrowbeg North, and tlie parisli of Belclare, Co. Galway, 
were excavated and investigated. The work took between 
three and four weeks, and sixteen men were employed. At 
its conclusion the sites were restored to their original shape. 
The sites are on Sheet 96 of the i inch O.S, Map of 
Ireland, and on Sheet 43 [Galway] of the 6 inch O.S. Map. 
Attention was first drawn to the mound by Dr. T. B. Costelloe 
of Tuam, whose constant interest in the site I should like to 
record here as well as in the acknowledgments. 


Tumulus I [PI. I and Fig. i) was a circular bracken covered 
mound situated behind Carrowbeg House. There had been 
a small disturbance at the centre and on the SW. side of the 
mound. It was surrounded by a ditch 14 feet wide and cut 
to a depth of 4 feet into the solid rock, but it had silted up 
completely on the NW. and to a depth of 3 feet on the other 

Method of Excavation. 

The mound was excavated by Dr. Van Giffen's method* 
by taking out four quadrants, leaving two 2 foot sections 
across the diameter of the mound at right angles to each 
other, so that any problems could be referred back to the 

* Van Giffen : Die Bauart der Einzelgraber, p. 7. 


original stratification until the last moment. At the conclusion 
of the excavation the mound was restored to its original 

Construction of the Mound and 

The mound covered a roughly hexagonal cairn of stones 
24 feet in diameter {PI. I). The upper stones were loose, 
but those at the base of the cairn were cemented together 
by clay. The cairn had probabh' been covered with clay 
which had washed down from the upper stones and settled 
between those below. At the centre of the mound was an 
oval spread of charcoal and small fragments of cremated 
bone, 10 feet 6 inches in length and 7 feet wide. There was 
no trace of a turf line below the stones which overlay a layer 
of yellow clay 6 to 10 inches thick, which in turn overlay 
a thin bed of grey gravel 18 inches thick, which rested on 
carboniferous limestone. Both the clay and the gravel were 
of natural origin and the geological formation of the site is 
the subject of Appendix I by Mr. C. D. Ovey, B.Sc, F.G.S. 
At the centre of the mound was an oval pit lying NW. — SE, 
3 feet long and 2 foot 3 inches broad and cut through the 
clay into the gravel to a depth of i foot 3 inches from the 
original surface, and containing the burnt bones of an adult 
with a late bronze age knife or razor. The bones had been 
put into the pit when still hot, and the clay edges were burnt 
to a red brick colour. The charcoal laj'er mixed with frag- 
ments of bone is probably the remains of the pyre on which 
the body was burnt and then the grave was cut through it 
and the cairn built. The bones are fully reported on in Appen- 
dix II by Professor Stephen Shea and the knife is discussed 
under the finds. 

The ditch showed a uniform primary silt of dark clay 
averaging 6 inches in depth and a secondary sUt of clay mixed 
with humus of an average depth of i foot 9 inches and a layer 
of turf and humus 9 inches in depth. The ditch had been cut 
down through the clay and gravel into the underlying carboni- 
ferous hmestone which had been used to build the cairn. 
At a later date four secondar}- burials, all by inhumation, 
had been deposited in the northern half of the ditch. Only 


one of these had associated objects by which their date could 
be arrived at, and they probably belong to the first few 
centuries of this era. 

Skeleton i. A female buried on the bottom of the ditch 
on the north side. Body on its back with the head lying on 
its left side. The hands together on left shoulder. Left femur 
vertical and the knee tightly bent. The right knee across the 
left femur had the heel close to pelvis. On the right shoulder 
a small bronze locket and close to the left foot 12 small bone 
beads (discussed under finds). 2 feet 9 inches from the ditch 
bottom and above the body was a large flag stone. 

Skeleton 2. On back on bottom of ditch on East North 
East side lying along it, head west, feet east, at full length. 
Head on right side, face looking toward the centre of the 
tumulus. Right arm by side with hand on pelvis, left humerus 
beside body, with forearm bent at right angles across body. 
Legs straight. 

Skeleton 3. On North side, full length on bottom of ditch 
lying along it. On back head to West. Arms beside body, 
legs straight. Covered by a pile of stones. 6 inches to left 
of head a piece of bone which shows signs of having been 

Skeleton 4. On North West side lying along bottom of 
ditch. Head to South West, body straight. Arms straight 
beside body, left hand on pelvis, right hand beside pelvis. 


{See Plate II, b, c and d). 

I. With Primary Cremation. Bronze blade, probably a 
razor. The blade is badly corroded, but probably measured 
about 3f inches in length and i inch at the greatest width. 
There is a broad tang with one rivet hole in it, and well marked 
holders. Down the centre of the blade on both sides are traces 
of a band of cross hatched ornament. The blade is similar 
to one from Pohacorragune, Co. Galway,* except that the 
tang in the Carrowbeg example is less pronounced and broader. 
Knockast, Co. Westmeath,t and Glenaree, Co. Limerick,^ 

* This Journal, Vol. XVIII, 1936, pp. 44. ff. 

t P. R.I. A.. XLII, p. 232. ff. 

J North Munster Ant. Journ., 1936, Vol. I, pp. 34-5. 


all of which have been found with cordoned urns, and may 
be dated to the Late Bronze Age. Professor O Riordain has 
suggested* that the blade was fixed in a wooden handle which 
allowed it to swing in the manner of a modern razor. Dr. 
Mahr has recently drawn attention to the ritual use of the 
razor in burials of the Middle and Late Bronze Age in Ireland. 

2. With Secondary Burial, Skeleton i. Bronze locket made 
by fastening two circular disks 15/16 of an inch in diameter 
to a circular strip of bronze 3/16 of an inch in width. On to 
this strip is a small bronze loop, through which moves freely 
a second bronze ring, by which it was suspended on the right 
shoulder. There is no ornament on it by which it can be 
precisely dated. It is reminiscent of a Roman seal box,f 
but these have {a) two holes through which the string of the 
sealed package passed and {h) they open on a hinge to take 
the seal. The locket has neither of these features, and I can 
only suggest that it was a reliquar3^| There was however, 
no fragment of bone within, and if it contained a relic, it 
must have been of some perishable material. A possible 
parallel is a similar locket found with an Anglian skeleton 
at Gartonslack, Yorks.§ On the under side there is the remains 
of a piece of cloth which has the appearance of a coarse linen. 

3. With Secondary Inhumation, Skeleton i. Close to the 
left foot were eleven small spherical bone beads from \ to \ of 
an inch in diameter. A twelfth bead also of bone 9/16 of an 
inch in length and 3/16 of an inch in diameter is cylindrical, 
forming three segments. It is pierced down its length and 
also across the centre. It seems a descendant of a type found 
in the Highland zone of England and Scotland, though there 
it is rather larger and has been found with overhanging rim 
urns, cordoned urns, and encrusted urns. Examples are known 
from Stanton Moor, Derbyshire,]! Towthorpe, Yorks E.R.,T[ 

* Prehistory, New Ser.. Ill, p. 378. 

t R. G. Collingwood : Archaeology of Roman Britain, p. 698, Fig. 76. e. 

X B. M. Guide to Greek and Roman Life, p. 145, Fig. 165. d. 

R. E. M. Wheeler : Lotidon in Roman Times, p. 108, Fig. 33. 
§ Mortimer : Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds 
of E. Yorks, pp. 248-9. PI. LXXXIV, Fig. 643. 

I! Journal Derbyshire Arch, and Nat. Hist. Soc, New Ser.. Vol. X p. 
29, PI. I. ' ^ 

^ Mortimer : Forty Years Researches. 


Near Pickering, Yorks, N.R.,* and in Scotland Over Migvie, 
Angus, t Seggiecrook, Aberdeen,! Loanhead of Daviot,§ 
Milnagavie, Dunbartonshire, || Dalmore, Ross.lj There are 
three examples from Denmark.** 


{See Plates III and IV). 

Tumulus II stands on an esker ridge a few yards to the 
north of the Smithy opposite Carrowbeg House, and is known 
locally as Mary Skerrett's grave. It is a grass covered mound, 
cut into at the Southern End by gravel workings in the esker. 

Method of Excavation. 

The mound was trenched from the southern, eastern, and 
western sides, cut so that sections across the mound could 
be drawn. It was impossible, owing to the time at our disposal, 
to cut a trench from the north side. 

Structure and Burial. 

The mound, from its position on the esker appears much 
larger than is really the case. The mound stood 3 feet 6 inches 
above the undisturbed soil, but its height above the surround- 
ing land was 7 feet 3 inches. The tumulus had not probably 
been made quite so high in the first place, for on the summit 
was a smaller mound 13 feet 6 inches in diameter, which had 
added i foot 3 inches to its original height. This smaller 
mound was composed of gritty earth and contained a number 
of very small fragments of cremated bone {Cremation i). It 
was divided from the larger mound below by a layer of soft 
dark earth, 6 inches in depth, which represented the turf on 
the top of the original tumulus. 

The tumulus was composed of the sand and gravel of the 
esker, mixed with a little earth and was surrounded by a small 

* Mitchelson Coll. York. Mus. 

t P.S.A.. S. LXIV, p. 28. 

t Ibid.. S. XLII, p. 212. 

§ Ibid.. S. LXX, p. 299, ff. Fig. 100. 

II Nat. Mus. Scotland, Edinburgh. 

11 P.S.A., S. XIII, p. 256. 

** Sophus Muller, Ordning, No. 232. 


ditch I foot 6 inches in width, and i foot deep, filled with 
dark earthy silt up to the surface le\'el. The diameter from the 
outside of the ditches across the tumulus was 56 feet 6 inches. 
Below the mound, which originally, before the building of 
the smaller secondary mound described above, stood to a 
height of 2 feet 3 inches, was a spread of yellowish clay on the 
old ground surface on the western side of the mound. On this 
clay were a number of boulders but they formed no sort of 
structure. There was no trace of a turf line below the mound. 
At the centre was a small hollow i foot in diameter and 6 
inches deep containing a few very comminuted fragments of 
cremated bone {Cremation 2). There was no sign of disturbance 
above this deposit. 2 feet south of this cremation was a 
circular pit 5 feet in diameter and 2 feet 6 inches deep con- 
taining an oblong cist built up by four upright slabs of car- 
boniferous limestone and covered by another slab. This slab 
rested only on two opposite corners of the cist, and on the 
top of it was a smaller square slab, which made the larger 
slab balance exactly. Although 6 men could with difftcult}'^ 
remove the cover stone, yet it could be rocked with the 
pressure of one's little finger. Inside the cist was a cremation 
(Cremation 3), with a small plano-convex knife. The interior 
dimensions of the cist were : Length, i foot 6 inches ; breadth, 
I foot ; height, i foot 9 inches. The two longer sides were 
parallel, but the two shorter sides were slightly inclined 
towards each other. The slabs varied from 6 to 9 inches 
thick. The cist was not paved and the bones rested on the 
natural gravel of the esker. Between the cist and the sides 
of the hole in which it was built was a packing of small rounded 
pebbles, which had also been heaped over the cover-stone. 
There was no signs of disturbance over this grave and like 
Cremation 2, it was a primary deposit. 



I. With Primary Cremation in Cist. Piano-Convex knife 
of white flint i 9/16 of an inch long and 11/16 of an inch in 
width. The under surface shows retains the flake surface with 
a well marked bulb and striking platform. The upper surface 


shows delicate pressure flaking down both sides, and the 
ridge is slightly covered with stalagmite from the cist. Dr. 
J. G. D. Clarke has shown* that this type of knife is found 
in association with Foodvessels and Cinerary Urns in England 
and Wales. The Irish examples when associated, seem to be 
found with cinerary urns. There are examples from Killi- 
carney, Co. Cavan,t near Glarryford, Co. Antrim, j Glagorm 
Park, Fenaghy.§ 


I have to thank Mr. Dominic Lynch the owner of the 
site for his ready permission to excavate ; Dr. T. B. Costelloe 
for constant help both before and during the excavations ; 
Mr. W. J. Comerford, who made the preliminary arrange- 
ments ; The Most Rev. Joseph Walsh, and the Nuns of the 
Ursuline and Bon Secours Convents who lent equipment ; 
the Rev. Gerard Sitwell, O.S.B., and Mark Haidy, O.S.B. ; 
Messrs. J. A. Gardiner, E. D. Tappe, J. Hastings and B. A. 
McSwiney, who helped during the excavations ; Professor 
Shea for his report on the skeletal material, and Mr. C. D. 
Ovey for his report on the Geological formation of the site. 


Geological Note 

By C. D. OVEY, B.Sc, F.G.S. 

The basic rock of the district is Carboniferous Limestone 
which is bedded horizontally. Overlying this are drumHns, 
kames and out wash gravels of glacial origin. The relative 
position of these show that the general direction of ice move- 
ment over the district was from the north-east, and the 
presence of striations in this direction on the summit of Castle 

* Ant. Journ., XII, p. 158. 

t J.R.S.A.I., 4th. Ser. V, p. 192, Fig. 62. 

X Ibid., IX, p. 110 and PI. 1, 2. 

§ Ibid., p. 110. 


Hacket Hill with an erratic of Old Red Sandstone possibly 
derived from a small inlier to the north of Dunmore, confirms 
the assumption. At Treanbaun there is a small lough which 
has been artificially drained, exposing white, laminated 
deposits of calcareous clay with l.imnaea pereger and Sphae- 
rium corneuni, overlain beyond by thick deposits of peat. 
Between this area and an esker immediately east of Carrowbeg 
House, there is a furlough or a low-l^ing area which becomes 
flooded occasionaly during very wet weather. This is bounded 
to the south by glacial deposits, a kame which has been banked 
up against the limestone of Castle Hacket Hill, — and to the 
north by a meandering ose, opening out to the east into the 
bogs which surround Lough Treanbaun. In the furlough, a 
trial-hole was dug and a laminated brown clay was found 
similar in character to the white clay of Lough Treanbaun, 
and containing a specimen of Spaherium corneum. It is almost 
entirely composed of calcium carbonate with a small residue 
of subangular quartz grains and minute fragments of Carboni- 
ferous Limestone. A single small fragment of flint was also 
found, indicating that material was washed into the lake of 
that time from the neighbouring glacial deposits. 

Carrowbeg North is situated about 150 yards to the east 
of Carrowbeg House, and was constructed on a thin layer of 
clay about 6 to 10 inches in thickness. The clay rests upon 
some 18 inches of badly sorted outwash gravels probabl}^ 
derived from the esker situated to the north during the period 
of ice retreat. Beneath this is a weathered surface of Carboni- 
ferous Limestone. The clay appears to be of uneven thickness 
and contains a varying amount of detrital material including 
small angular pieces of limestone, mica, quartz grains and 
fragments of other rocks. Apart from the presence of the 
limestone, there is little calcium carbonate in it, and none 
was found in a sample taken from the base of the mound 
nor in that which must have been used to cover the mound. 
Also, in this sample there is evidence of dehydration of iron 
oxides which consists mostly of fine, subangular quartz grains. 
A sample from the top of the cairn shows the presence of some 
lime and no dehydration, indicating that the clay was placed 
above after the cremation had been completed. Another sample 
from the clay between the cairn and the ditch contained much 


carbonate with a small residue of grains of all sizes of quartz, 
limestone, sandstone and other rocks. No carbonate was found 
in samples taken from trial-holes within 30 yards of the 
mound itself. There was no clay immediatel\' above the 
gravels beyond the ditch, and it appears that this was removed 
and used in the construction of the mound as a mortar for the 
boulders which cover the cremation hearth. There is evidence 
that this mortar has been removed by leaching from the centre 
of the mound b}^ percolation of rain through a circular cavity 
at the summit, but in places the boulders are found resting 
on, embedded in and covered by the clay particularly along 
the periphery of the cairn. 

The origin of the clay seems to have been due to water 
trickling over the outwash gravels when these were possibly 
in a semi-frozen state, and there was a channel between the 
old windmill and Carrowbeg House where the esker has been 
breached, and this drained into the furlough. Evidence for 
this channel is shown by a very fine sand of at least 3 feet 
in depth, found in a trail-hole in the breach. The sand consists 
of very small quartz grains and no calcareous material, or other 
fragments, indicating sorting b}' water action. It seemed to 
be unbedded and this may have been due to a constant trickle 
of water coming from the area in which Carrowbeg North is 
situated, and draining into the furlough to the east. 

The Carboniferous Limestone (see Fig. i) immediately 
beneath the mound consists of an upper 12 inches of black 
limestone (' Upper ' Limestone) and below this a much 
weathered limestone about 6 inches in thickness with numerous 
silicified fossils (Silicified Limestone). Beneath this bed is a 
hard, black limestone again (' Lower ' Limestone). It is curious 
that most of the boulders on the cairn arc derived from the 
fossilferous band, and it seems that the upper layer was 
weathered and jointed into more satisfactor}- blocks for human 
use than the underlying, roughl}^ weathered bed. The latter 
appears to have been excavated and the top layer used to 
cover the bodies. The boulders on the cairn have had their 
edges rounded by solution so must have been there for some 
considerable length of time. 

130 galwav arch^ological and historical society. 

Report on the Human Remains 


The remains are composed of the skeletons of four individuals 
who had been inhumed and of four who had been cremated. 
The four inhumed skeletons have been designated by Mr. 
W'illmot Numbers i to 4, from Carrowbeg North A. (See Plate 
IV (b), and Plates V to IX). 

Skeleton No, j 

Sex : This skeleton is that of a female, as is shown by the 
very small size of the bones, the form of the sacrum, the 
outline of the sciatic notch, the presence of prae-auricular 
sulci and the form and proportions of the pubic part of the 

Age : The sutures of the skull are all open. The teeth 
are all present except for the lower incisors which were 
lost post mortem, and the lower wisdom teeth. The upper 
wisdom teeth are not fully erupted. The lower wisdom teeth 
have not yet appeared. The age is probably between 20 and 
25 years. 

Stature : It was possible to measure the maximum lengths 
of the left humerus, the right radius, the left ulna, the right 
femur and the left and right tibiae. According to Pearson's 
formula {e) the stature in the living state was 4' 9". Accord- 
ing to Pearson's formula (i) the stature was 4' gi". There is 
nothing special to report about the vertebrae and ribs. The 
sacrum and the left os innominatum are well preserved. 
There is no flattening of the humeral shaft. The upper end 
of the ulna, the right femur and the tibia show flattening, 
which is well marked in the femur and tibiae. The femora 
show 3rd trochanters and fossae hypertrochantericae with 
slight extension of the articular surface of the internal condyle. 
The tibiae show median squatting facets. The right tibia 
gives an angle of retroversion of ly"" and an angle of inclinatioa 


of 12°. Retroversion is much more pronounced in this skeleton 
than in numbers 2 and 3, where the angles of retroversion are 
12° and 13° and the angles of inchnation 7.5° and 8° respecti- 
vely. The left astragulus gives an angle of deviation (for the 
neck) of 29°. The following are the angles of deviation of the 
astraguli of the skeletons, numbers 3, 3 and 4 : 

Skeleton No. 2 — 20° 
Skeleton No. 3 — 19' 
Skeleton No. 4 — 24^ 

The astraguli all show small articular ridges on the neck for 
articulation with the median squatting facet on the lower 
end of the tibia and extension of the median articular surface. 
The retroversion of the tibial heads, the deviation of the 
astragular necks and the presence of squatting facets, show 
that squatting was an habitual posture for these four people. 

The calcaneus shows a well-developed sustentaculum in 
all four skeletons. 

The skull of Skeleton No. i is in fragments. As many of 
the fragments are warped and many other pieces are missing 
it was not possible to reconstruct it satisfactorily. 

Skeleton No. 2. 

Sex : The widely open great sciatic notches, the presence 
of well formed prae-auricular sulci and the general form of 
the Pelvis show that the sex is female. 

Age : The wisdom teeth are cut and one has a small carious 
cavity. The spheno-occipital suture is closed. The sutures of 
the vault of the cranium are still open externally. The age 
is probably between 25 and 30 years. 

Stature : According to Pearson's formula {e) the stature is 
5' i|" for the living state. 

Vertebral Column and Ribs : The ribs and vertabrae are 
all present but are badly broken. They show no unusual 

Limb Bones : The left humerus, left radius, and left tibia 
are available for measurement of maximal lengths. The left 
femur was broken but was repaired and the length accurately 
ascertained. Details of the measurements are given in Table 




The humeri show eurybrachy, the left ulna platyleny, 
the femora and the right tibia moderate plat\meria and 
platycnemia respectively. The median squatting facets are 
present in each tibia. The bones are robust. The femora show 
3rd trochanters and increase of the articular area of the 
internal condyle. 

Skull : This skull was very well preserved although it was 
soft and filled with earth. The face had been laterally com- 
pressed to a slight degree. Most of the measurements may be 
regarded as accurate. Those of the face and the basi-alveolor 
length, owing to the crushing of the face are only approxi- 
mately correct. This skull is peculiar in that its height exceeds 
its width. It is dolicocephalic {C.I. 71), orthocranial {H.L.I., 
71.6). and acrocranial (H.B.I., 100.7). It is, therefore, a long 
narrow skull, high in proportion to its width. The face is 
orthognathic with alveolar prognathism. The left orbit is of 
moderate height {Index 82). The nose is narrow (/., 42.5). 
The palate is broad (/., 126). The cubic capacity of the skull, 
estimated by direct measurement with mustard seed, is 1,250 
CCS. According to Welcher's table the cubic capacity is 1359 
CCS. As it is impossible to be sure that all the earth is removed 
from the interior of the skull, a larger capacity than 1,250 
CCS. is probable. 

Observations : Viewed in the norma verticalis the skull is 
ovoid and phaenozygous. The sutures are open on its external 
surface. Seen in profile the glabula is well developed for a female 
skull. The forehead slopes very slightly backwards. There is 
a little post-bregmatic flattening. The post-parietal part of 
the arch curves gradually downwards. The occiput is pro- 
minent, the inion is moderate. The mastoid processes are 
small. Each external auditor^^ meatis is practically filled with 
exostoses. The vault appears high. Seen from in front the 
skull again appears highly arched with practically vertical 
sides. The face is long and narrow. The orbits are of medium 
height with axes inclined downwards and outwards. The upper 
border of the orbit is sharp. The glabella and supraciliary 
processes are well formed. The malar bones are not prominent. 
The zygoma on the left side with the cheek-bone had been 
pressed a little way towards the middle line. The nose is high 
and narrow. Incisive fossae are present. The palate is broad 


and high, the alveolar arch is paraboloid. A palatine torus is 
absent. The second left lower premolar, the first right upper 
premolar and the second and third right upper molars were 
lost post mortem. The incisors and molars, with the exception 
of the wisdoms, show marked wear. The right lower wisdom 
tooth shows a small carious cavity in the crown. The teeth 
are otherwise sound 

The mandible is of moderate strength and the angles are 
not everted. The chin is moderately developed. 

Skeleton No. 3. 

Sex : The sex of this skeleton is male, as is shown by the 
size of the bones, the masculine form of the pelvis and the 
great sciatic notch, the absence of prae-auricular sulci and the 
development of the glabella and supraciliary ridges of the 

Age : The sutures of the cranial vault are all open. The 
basi-sphenoid and the basi-occipital bones are fused. Three 
wisdom teeth are fully developed. One, the right upper 
wisdom, is suppressed. Two of the three wisdoms show slight 
wear. The age is, therefore, between 25 and 30 years. 

Vertebrae and Ribs : The whole vertebral column is present 
in good condition. The ribs are nearly all broken. The sacrum 
is of the male type. 

Limb Bones : The limb bones are all represented. Some of 
them are broken and eroded. The right humerus, the right 
and left radius and ulna, the femora and left tibia allowed of 
measurement of the maximal lengths. The stature, according 
to Pearson's formula (e) is 5' 7I" in the living state. The 
humerus, ulnae, femora, and tibia all show flattening. This is 
pronounced in the ulnae, femora and tibiae. The bones are 
robust with well developed muscle markings. The femora 
both show a 3rd trochanter with crista and fossae hypo- 
trochauterica. Both tibia show a median squatting facet. 
The clavicles, of which the left is broken, show a curious 
trumpet-like, sternal articular surface. This is seen parti- 
cularly well in the right clavicle. Large foramina for blood 
vessels occup}" the centre of the concavity. It is difficult to 
explain this condition, unless it is due to osteo-arthritis. There 
is a slight suggestion of lipping in many other joints in the 


body. There is marked lipping on the borders of the articular 
surface of the right radius. 

The Skull : The skull, which was in fragments, allowed, 
after many attempts of reconstruction of the cah-arium only. 
It was not possible to fit the face together and to attach it 
to the skull, with any degree of accuracy. It was possible 
to fit occipital fragments in place so as to enable height measure- 
ments to be taken. The skull is remarkable for its large size. 
Its estimated cubic capacity is, according to Lee's formula, 
1652 CCS. It is mesaticephalic (C./., 75). It is orthocranial 
{Index, 73.2) and metro-cranial (/., 97.2). That is, it is a 
moderately broad skull and its vertical height is moderate as 
compared both with its lengtli and its width. The forehead 
is broad. N'iewed from above the skull is ovoid in outline. 
It is phaenozygous. The sutures are open. Viewed from the 
side the glabella and brow ridges are seen to be moderate 
for a male skull. The forehead recedes slightly. The cranial 
vault curves smoothly until the post-parietal region is reached 
where it bends rather sharply down. The occiput is fairly 
prominent. The mastoids are large. Viewed from in front the 
globular outline of the cranial arch is noticeable. A metopic 
suture is present. 

The palate is broad and of moderate height. The alveolar 
arch is paraboloid. There is no torus. The mandible is strong 
with markedly everted angles and prominent square chin. 
All the teeth are present except the right upper wisdom 
tooth, which is suppressed and the right upper canine, lost 
post mortem. The degree of wear of the teeth has been men- 
tioned already in connection with the estimation of the age 
of the individual. The incisors were ground together in edge 
to edge movements. 

Skeleton 4. 

Almost all of this skeleton is present, but most of the 
bones are broken. It was possible to reconstruct and measure 
the right humurus, the right femur and the left tibia. 

Sex : The sex is female. This is not so evident at first, 
owing to the presence of well-marked brow-ridges and glabella 
on the skull, and the masculine outline of the great sciatic 
uotch. There are well-formed prae-auricular sulci present, 


however, and the form and the size of the pubic portion of 
the pelvis, as compared with the acetabulum show that the 
sex is female. The sub-pubic angle is wide. This conclusion 
is strengthened by the presence of small mastoids and sharp 
upper orbital margins, and by the general size and appearance 
of the limb bones. 

Age : The cranial sutures in the vault are open. The 
spheno-occipital suture in the base is closed. The wisdom 
teeth are fully erupted. The age is probably between 25 and 
30 years. 

Stature : The living stature, calculated according to Pear- 
son's formula (e), is 5' i". The limb bones are robust and show 
well-developed muscle markings. The humerus, femur and 
tibia show flattening. The femora show third trochanters and 
cristae and fossae hypertrochantericae. The right tibia shows 
a median squatting facet. There is nothing worthy of special 
note about the vertebrae and ribs. 

Skidl : The skull had been broken into fragments and it 
was reconstructed only with the greatest difficulty. The 
measurements and indices can only approximate to the actual. 
It is mesaticephalic {C.I., 78). It is ortho-cranial {H.L.I., 
70.3). It is tapeino-cranial [H.B. Index, 90). That is, it is like 
Skull No. 3, a moderately wide rather low skull. The forehead 
is narrow when compared with the greatest parietal width. 
The orbits are low [0.1. , 75.6). The nose is narrow {N.I.,^8.y). 
The complete face is long, while the upper face is moderately 
wide. The palate is of moderate width. The capacity of the 
skull according to Welcker's Table is 1405 ccs. It is a large 
skull for a female. 

Observations : When viewed from above the skull is seen 
to be rather broad ovoid in outline, and is cryptozygous. 
The sutures are open. In profile, it shows, for a female 
skull, very well-marked brow-ridges and glabella. The fore- 
head slopes backwards. The arch of the skull vault passes 
evenly upwards and backwards without flattening on top. 
The occiput projects very slightly beyond the post-parietal 
arch. The mastoids are small. Viewed from in front the cranial 
vault appears low and has a globular outline. The brow- 
ridges and glabella are well-marked. The orbits appear low 
with axes inclined downwards and outwards. The upper 


orbital margin is sharp. The full face is long, the upper face 
appears comparativel\- wide. The chin is prominent and 
triangular. The teeth, of which 7 incisors and 2 molars are 
missing, show the same kind of wear as do these other of the 
skulls. The mandible is strong, with everted angles. 


The skulls of Skeletons 3 and 4 resemble Irish iron age 
skulls, such as those found at Mount Wilson,* Bray.t Knock- 
ast,+ and Pollacorragune,§ in their mesaticephaly and lowness 
of the vault. The skuU of Skeleton No. 2 resembles the neolithic 
type in its marked dolicocephaly and particularly in its height. 
Its height is greater than its width. Lowness of the cranial 
vault is regarded as the chief characteristic of the iron age 
skull. I think, however, that the width of this skull has been 
reduced by post-mortem lateral compression. The surface of 
the parietal bone on the right side lies i to 2 mm. deeper than 
the surface of the frontal bone at the fronto-parietal suture. 
If these two mm. be added to the width of the skull then the 
width becomes slightly greater than the height and the skull 
corresponds to the requirements for the iron-age period. 

In the skeletons there is very little evidence on which to 
base a judgment of the " age " of the skeletons. There is 
one point that is possibly of value, the angle formed at the 
junction of the neck and shaft of the radius (the collo-diaphysial 
angle). This angle is 170" in Skeleton No. i, 175'' in No. 2, 
177° in No. 3, and 166'' in No. 4. R. Martin|| gives ibs"" to 
177° as the range of the angles in modern Europeans. The 
skeletons A and B from Pollacorragune§, which are definitely 
of iron age give angles of 174" and iGb'". On the other hand 
three Bronze Age Irish skeletons from Park, Co. Galway,^ 
Annaghkeen, Co. Galway,** and Stonepark, Co. Roscommonjt 

* Grattan, J., 1853 : U.J. A.. Vol. I, p. 98. 

t Wakeman, W. F., 1894 : J.R.S.A.I., Vol. 24, p. 54 ; Vol. 25. p. 106. 

Nole : I am indebted to Prof. C. P. Martin's Prehistoric Man in Ireland, 
1935, for references Nos. 1 and 2., and for list of measurements of the Mount 
Wilson and Bray skulls. 

J Hencken, H. O'N, and Movius. H.L. : P. R.I. A.. Vol. XIC, p. 232, 

§ Riley and Shea : This Journal, Vol. XVIII, Nos. i and ii, 1936, p. 56. 

II R. Martin : Lehrbiich der Anthropoloqie, Bd. 2. 5. 1109. 

II Shea : This Journal, Vol. XVII, Nos. i and ii, 1936. p. 24. 
** Costelloe and Shea : This Journal, Vol. XII, p. 119. 
tt Shea: J.R.S.A.I., Vol. LXI, 1929, pp. 100-104, pp. 105-113. 


give angles of 162", 164^ (Park), 156° and 155° (Annaghkeen) 
and 158° and 162° (Stonepark). These Irish Bronze Age 
skeletons in this feature resemble the neolithic radii of 
Schweizerbild, for which the range of 154° to 170° is given. 
As regards the collo-diaphysial angles then the radii from 
Carrowbeg resemble Irish Iron Age, and modern European 
radii rather than Irish Bronze Age or European neolithic 
radii. There are not sufficient data relating to this angle in 
early Irish skeletons to enable one to judge its value, but the 
difference is there in the material at my disposal and it corro- 
borates, for what it is worth, the form of the skulls in referring 
the individuals to the iron age at the earliest. 

Summary : The skeletons are the remains of three women, 
and a man. Numbers i, 2 and 4 are female. Number 3 is male. 
The ages of all four are between 25 and 30 years. The stature 
of the females ranged between 4' 9" and 5' 2|" and that of the 
male was 5' yV- Racially the remains resemble most closely 
those attributed to the Iron Age. 


The cremated remains from Carrowbeg are divided into 
two groups, those from Carrowbeg North A and those from 
Carrowbeg North B. 

All these remains which are those of four individuals, were 
very fragmentary'. It was possible only to identify the bones 
as human in most cases. In some cases sex and age could be 
determined. The following is a list of the finds : 

Carrowbeg North A. Cremation A. Remains of one 
human adult, probably male. A little charcoal. One fragment 
of animal bone. 

Carrowbeg North B. Cremation i. Bone so comminuted 
that I could not determine whether it is human bone or not. 

Cremation 2. One human adult. Some small animal bone 

Cremation 3. One human adult. 


Measurements of Skulls — Carrowbeg North A. 



Cubic Capacity 

Greatest Glabello— Occip. 


Greatest \\idth 

Basi-bregmatic height 

Basi-Nasal Diameter 


Min. Frontal „ 

Max Frontal 

Ariculo Breg. height 

Orbital width (max. front) 


Orbital width — left 

Orbital height — right 

Ant. Inter-orbital breadth ... 

Nasal height 

Nasal Width 

Naso-alveolar length 

Naso-mental length 

Palatal length (Pal. maxill.) 
Palatal width (maxill. alv.) 
Horizontal Circ. abo\e Glab 

Total Sagittal .'\rc 

Frontal Sagittal Arc 

Parietal Sagittal Arc 

Occipital Arc 

Transverse Arc 

Inter angular front, breadth 

No. 1 

20 - 25 


No. 2 

25- 30 

1250 cc. 





















No. 3 

25 -30 

1652 cc. 





No. 4 

25 - 30 

1400 cc. 



























Indices of Skulls— Garrowbeg North A. 

Cephalic Index 

Height — Length Index 

Height — Breadth Index 

Gnathic Index 

Trans, frontal-parietal Ind. 

Trans, frontal Index 

Auric, height length Index... 
Auric, height breadth Index 

Cranial Module 

Orbital Index (right) 

Orbital Index (left) 

Nasal Index 

Complete facial Index 

Upper facial Index 

Palatal Index 

Mandibular L. B. Index 

Zygo-goniai Index 

No. 1 


No. 2 











No. 3 







No. 4 









Measurements of Mandibles 

Bicondylar Width 

Condylo-symphysial length 

Bi-gonial width 

Height ascending ramus .... 
Minimum breadth ramus .... 

Symphysial height 

Mean Angle 

No. 1 



No. 2 


No. 3 





No. 4 









Measurements of Long Bones of Limbs- 
Carrowbeg North A. 

Humerus : 

Maximum Length 

Greatest diam. at middle of 


Least diam. at middle of 


Index of Shaft 

Radius : 

Maximum Length 

Transverse width of shaft 

Ant. width 

Index of Shaft 

Collo-diaphysial angle .... 

Ulna : 

Maximum length 

Greatest Up. Trans. Diam. 
Greatest Up. Ant. post Dm. 
Index of Platyleny 

Femur : 

Diam. of Head 

Bicondylar length of shaft... 

Maximum length of shaft 

Ant. Post. Diam. at middle 
of shaft 

Trans. Diam. at middle of 

Ant. Post. Diam. at L'pper 
one-third of shaft 

Trans Diam. at Upper one- 
third of shaft 

Platymeric Index 

Pilastric Index 

Index of Robustness 

Tibia : 

Maximum length 

Length less spine 

Ant. Post. Diam. of shaft at 

nut. for 

Trans. Diam. of shaft at 

nut. for 

Platycnaemic Index 

Squatting facets 

Angle of R(;troversion 

Angle of Inclination 

No. 1 


No. 2 

No. 3 















M + 
















M + 






M + 


















70 9 






M + 



No. 4 






M + 













M + 










M + 



Plate I. — Carrowbeg North, Tumulus I. (a) From West 
before excavation, (b) North-East quadrant of inner cairn. 





Plate II. — Carrowbeg North Finds, Tumulus II. (a) Plano-convex Flint knife 
with primary cremation. Tumulus I. (b) Locket with skeleton 1, (c) Beads 
with skeleton 1, (d) Bronze razor with primary cremation. All full size, 



Plate III. — Carrowbeg North, Tumulus II. (a) from West, 
before excavation (b) Cover stones of cist. 



Plate IV. — Carrowbeg North, Tumulus II. (a) Cist when opened. 
Tumulus I, (h) Skeleton 2. 





















































Plate IX.— Skull No. 4, Norma lateralis. 



Fig. 1. 



rrONf ii^^E: Ci-Ay i 

iAP.'H it-GRlT L_ 





Fig. 2. 



Fie. 3. 







Fig. 4. Diagramatic section of the geology in 
immediate neighbourhood of Carrowbeg North. 

[ 141 1 
On the Temporalities of the 

Augustinian Abbey of St. Mary 

the Virgin 

Cong, Co. Mayo 


In spite of rather extensive, though intermittent, researches, 
I have been able to track down only eight documents which 
purport to enumerate the possessions of Cong Abbe3^ As they 
will doubtless be of interest to some student with a proper 
knowledge of the places named, I give them here together 
with a few other incomplete notes. 

The oldest recital of the temporalities of Cong is to be 
found in a papal confirmation of i April 1400.^ This docu- 
ment confirms the abbot and convent in all the liberties and 
immunities granted them by the Holy See, and in liberties 
and exemptions from secular exactions granted them by 
kings, princes, and others, as also in their possessions, viz., 
the church of St. Mary, Cong, with its tithes and appurtenances, 
the church of St. Colman in Sruthayr with its appurtenances, 
Druymsil with its archiepiscopal fourth, Kyllgoynd with the 
like, Collvn Osnanayd with its appurtenances, the fourth of 
the tithes of Balyloch Mugybron, the parsonage of Conmaicni 
Mara, the rectory called Ceathramha Rebach with its appur- 

Next in point of time comes a ' rental ' professedly copied 
in 1501 from an ancient manuscript preserved in the abbey. 
The interest of this document is equalled by its difficulty. 
It survives only in two seventeenth century transcripts. One 
of these, British Museum, P. 15601. Harl. 4787, was made 
for Sir James Ware, after whose death it passed into the posses- 
sion of Henry Hyde, 2nd Earl of Clarendon^ (Lord-Lieutenant 

1 Cal. Pap. Reg., Letters V, 275. 

2 See Bernard's Catologi II, ii, p. 6, No. 36. 


of Ireland, 1686). and so to the British Museum.^ This transcript 
has been edited with translation and notes by the late Martin 
J. Blake/ while a second translation with notes will be found 
in Knox's Notes on the early history of the dioceses of Tuam, 
Killala and Achonry, p. 256 ff. Neither Blake nor Knox knew 
that a second (contemporary but independent) transcript 
existed. A lucky examination of Bernard's Librorum manu- 
scriptorum viri praeclari Joannis Maddeni collegii medicorum 
Duhliniensium praesidis catalogus showed that Madden had 
had one.^ At some date unknown to me Madden's manuscripts 
were acquired by John Stearne, Bishop of Clogher, who 
bequeathed them in 1741 to Trinity College, Dublin,^ where 
the manuscript containing the rental is now numbered 653 
(F. 4. 22). At the end of this MS. is a catalogue of Stearne's 
MSS. in 1700. This catalogue is almost identical with Bernard's 
list of the Madden MSS., so that F. 4. 22 must be identified 
with Bernard's 1669. 8. Hence Abbot is wrong both in 
ascribing F. 4. 22 to Stearne and in dating it ' c. 1700.' The 
order of the contents of the volume has been disturbed since 
1700, probably in binding. 

Since Blake's edition of the British Museum text is not 
free from misreadings and other defects, I venture to make a 
fresh attempt here, giving variant readings from F. 4. 22 
as well as from Blake and Knox in footnotes. Remarks on 
the persons and places mentioned in the ' rental ' will be 
found in the notes to my translation. Contractions are silently 
expanded. I am indebted to Mr. Burnett of the Quit Rent 
Office, Dublin, and to Fr. Aubrey Gwynn and Fr. Lambert 
McKenna for their invaluable assistance. 


In dei nomine Amen. 

Sciant universi per presentes quod hec'' sunt vera indubi- 

3 Cf. Ayscough : A catalogue of the manuscripts preserved in the British 
Museum... \o\. I, p. vii ff. (1782). 

4 Journal Royal Soc. Antiquaries Ireland, xxxv, 130-8. 

5 Catalogi II, ii, p. 57, No. 1669. 8. 

6 Abbot, Catalogue of the manuscripts in the library of Trinity College, 
Dublin, pp. iii, xiv, xv, 109. 

V hec F. 4. 22, haec Had. 4789. 


lata et authentica rentalia de Conga in feodis decimis alijsque 
commoditatibus et emolumentis a primo die dedicationis 
ecclesie^ usque in hodiernum diem viz.^ 

Primus vir et illustrissimus rex Hibernie^^ alias lernie 
Donaldus filius Hugonis^^ mac Ainmyreach^^ valde devotus 
et deo omnipotenti obediens dedicavit et donavit deo et 
ecclesie dicte^^ parcellam terre que vocatur Inys — nastryn- 
droma^'* et omnes alias parcellas terre per stagnum [ ]^^ 
Dichrus^^ usque Dubrus". 

Idem et fundum et solum in quo fundatum est monasterium 
ipsum anno primo^^ dominationis sue et monasterium ipsum 

erectum^^ et re-edificatum^° erat ccccc et 

Dubhach O Dubhey^^ erat primus dominus abbas monasterij. 

Item dictus D[onaldus]^^ donavit villam de Crois^^ cum 
pertinenciis^"^ deo [et]^^ monasterio dicto^^. 

Item dominus Dermicius^^ mac Fergusa rex Hibernie^" 
villam de Croibhis^^ donavit monasterio dicto^^ cum pertinen- 

Item Terencius^° Magnus O Concubhair donavit villam de 
Cylguin"'^ monasterio predicto cum pertinenciis. 

8 ecclesiae, Blake. 

9 vizt., Blake. 

10 Hiberniae, Blake. 

11 Annates Ultoniae initium regni Aeda mac Ainmirec [h] 591, in marg.; 
Annales Ultoniae 591, in marg. F. 4. 22. 

12 Ainmyreath, Blake. 

13 ecclesiae dictae Harl. 4787 ; ecclesie dicte, Blake ; ecclesiae dicte, F. 4. 22. 

14 Imys-. . . nasiryndroma, Harl. 4787. 

15 Lacuna not indicated by Blake. 

16 Underlined with cancellation points as is Dychns in F. 4. 22. Blake 
reads Dnhrus ; Knox leaves a blank, but cf. footnote. 

1'? usque et {ad ?) Dubrus, Blake. 

18 primo anno, F. 4. 22. ; An. 635 secundum Annales Conactenses added 
in marg. ; Annales Conatenses 639, F. 4. 22. 

19 dedicatum, Blake. 

20 edificatum. F. 4. 22. 

21 Duvhach O'Duvhay, Knox ; Duvach O'Duvkay, Blake. 

22 om. Blake, Knox ; Dominus (?), F. 4. 22. 

23 mod [ ] [ ]iam dicta Cross added in margin. 

24 pertinentibus, F. 4. 22. 

25 et Blake, F. 4. 22. ; deo et om. Knox. 

26 predicto, F. 4. 22. 

27 Dermitius, Blake. 

8 Underlined with cancellation dots. 

29 predicto, F. 4. 22. 

30 Terentius, Blake. 

31 Olygnium, Harl. ; Oylynnium, Blake ; Knox's transl. has Oylnim ; 
Cyl^uin^ F. 4- 2?. 


Item Edmundus Scotorum filius VuliellmP" de Burgo militis 
donavit quaitarium terre quod" vocatur Ardnagross mona- 
sterio dicto et semivillam de Lioslachane. 

Item Thomas de Burgo filius supradicti donavit semi- 
villam de Droim Silmoir^'* et semiquartarium de^^ Drom 
Silbeg monasterio predicto. 

Item Risterdus"^^ Equi^'' filius Sir (?) f [ Y^ conductor 
equi domini de Burgo donavit"'^ semiquartarium de^^ . . . .ay''° 
monasterio predicto. 

Item tribunij [ ] de Burgo donaverunt segecim'*^ 
canonicorum in villa de Robbo monasterio predicto. 

Item tribunij predicti donaverunt [ ] canonicorum apud 
Rath Moling'*^ in villa de Sruthair monasterio predicto. 

Et sic ad monasterium predictum spectat templum Col- 
mani'*^ in villa predicta'''^ et murum eiusdem et Killin Coemain 
de adversa parte amnis et semiquartarium terre collis qui''^ 
vocatur Sancti Patricij ibidem. 

Item Gibbunus^^ Rectoris filius donavit semiquartarium 
de"*' Tamhnachliahain''^ monasterio dicto. 

Item Donaldus filius Hugonis qui dicitur Magnus O 
Flaghertach donavit parcellam terre que vocatur Oilen da 
Chriunne''^ in mare de Conomara^° [monasterio] dicto. ^^ 

Item Tho[mas Sheoigh]^^ qui dicitur Ruffus" donavit 

32 Ullielmi, Blake. 

33 que (?), F. 4. 22. ; que. Blake. 

34 Dromsilmoir , Blake, Knox. 

35 om., F. 4. 22. 

36 Ristardus, Blake ; Ristard, Knox. 

37 Underlined with cancellation dots. 

38 filius Fiesucoba, Blake, ' son of Fiesucoba ', Knox. 

39 dedit, F. 4. 22. 

40 Blank, Blake. 

41 segerium (segetem P), Blake ; Segerin, Knox, v. infra. 
4 2 Rathmolinge, Blake. 

43 Colemain, Blake. 

^"i in villam predictam, Blake. 

45 que (?), F. 4. 22. ; que. Blake. 

46 Gibbunis, Blake. 

47 om., F. 4. 22. 

4 8 Tanihiiachliahan, Blake. 

49 Oilen de Chrionne (?), F. 4. 22. ; da Chruinne, Knox. 

50 in mare Conacie, F. 4. 22. 

51 monasterio predicto, F. 4. 22. 

52 Tho[mas] Sh[eoigh] ? F. 4. 22. ; Thomas Sh[eoigh], Blake ; Thomas 
Sh[ ], Knox. 

53 Rufus, F. 4. 22. 


quartarium terre quod vocatur Cearhonangringineach^'* et semi- 
quartarium quod dicitur^^ Seanmhadhharraightain^^ et quar- 
tarium de Killin Dubhachta^'' monasterio predicto. 

Item Terencius^^ Magnus O Concobhir^^ donavit [ f° 
de Liossonduibh^^ in suo territorio^^ supra montem de 
Sliabh Ban^^ monasterio predicto. 

Item Rogerus filius supradicti, et rex Hibernie^'* donavit 
villam et terram de Cill Moir Muaidhe monasterio dicto^^ et 
decimam piscium totius amnis de^^ Muaidhe^^ antedicti et f unem 
campane ab omni nave ad portum dictum^^ gratia piscandi 
et mercandisandi pro tempore deveniendo^^ monasterio pre- 

Item Cormacus Mac Carty dominus sue nationis®^ donavit 
parcellam terre in patrimonia de Birra que dicitur Inis Conge 
et funem campane supradicto monasterio si^*^ quod naves 
pro tempore deveniant ad portum^^ de Dunboith.^^ 

Item Vaterus Vulli de Burgo donavit semiquartarium 
terre^^ quod^'^ dicitur Killinratha monasterio predicto. 

Haec sunt omnia feoda supranominata^^ monasterij pre- 
dicti. Nunc agendum est de decimis prediolibus/^ personalibus, 
et mixtis." 

54 Cearhonangriiigineath, Blake ; Cearhonangruigineach, Knox. 

55 semiquartarium de, F. 4. 22. 

56 Seanmhadhharriaghtaoim, F. 4. 22. ; Seaunihaeghfarraighain, Blake ; 
Seanmhaegharraightain, Knox. 

57 Killindubhacta, Blake. 

5 8 Terentins, Blake. 

59 O Concubhair, Blake, F. 4. 22. 

60 Lacuna not indicated by Blake. 

61 Liosonannibh, Blake ; Liosonduibh, Knox. 

62 territorio suo, F. 4. 22. 

63 Sliabhane, Blake ; Sliabhban, Knox ; Slewbane in margin of MS. 

64 Hiberniae, Blake. 

65 predicto, F. 4. 22. 

66 Moy added in margin. 

67 portam dictam, Blake. 

6 8 devenienda, Blake. 

69 nacionis, Blake. 

70 sic, MS. 

71 partes, MS. ; portam, Blake. 

72 Dunboith, F. 4. 22. ; Duinboith, Blake ; Dimboith, Harl. 4787. 

73 terrae, Blake. 

74 que, F. 4. 22. 

75 supra dicta nominata, Blake. 

76 praediolibus, Blake. 

77 mixciis, Blake. 

14^ galwav archaeological and historical society. 

De Decimis. 

Templum Beate^* Virginis Marie de Conga, semivillam in 
semivilla de Acholeathard, semivillam in villa de Athcuirce 

Item Templum de Ruan in villa de Robo etc., semivillam 
in villa de Ballinrobo etc. 

Ecclesia Commanij 28 quartaria habet viz. semivillam de 
Scethelochain etc. 

Item quod nullus mundanus potest creare''^ [ ] aliquem^° 
in civitate Co[rca]gie^^ nisi de licentia ordinacione®^ et di[re]c- 
tione^"^ abbatis de Conga et (et)^"* illo die quo constituitur et 
creatur abbas Corcaigie^^ tenetur reddere abbati de Cong[a] 
sexdecem. . .ccetas vel semimarcas auri^® ad deaurandos®^ 
calices monasterij de Conga et omnes vestes novi abbatis de 
Corcagia^^ tenetur [ ] reddere thesauro^^ de Conga illo die. 

Sed supradictus^° Cormacus Mac Carty donavit funem 
campane monasterio de Conga de unaquaque nave ad portum^^ 
Corcagie pro tempore devenienda etc. 

Sic finiuntur feliciter in nomine altissimi rentalia de Conga 
tam in feodis quam in decimis et^^ per me Thadeum O Duhi 
in scriptum redacta,^^ et relinquens postquam in Curia ver- 
batim Romana^* reverendus pater in Christo^^ Willelmus^^ 
Flavus O Duhi abbas de Conga apud Josephum Pull mode 
registri reliquit X° Martij anno Gratie^^ 1501. 

7 8 om.. Blake; Beatae . . . Mariae, Had. 4787. 
T^ reave, Blake. 

80 aliquid, Blake ; ' can raise anything,' Knox. 

81 Corcaigie, F. 4. 22. ; Corcagiae, Blake. 

8 2 Ordinarie, Blake ; ' of the ordinary,' Knox. 

83 dircctione, F. 4. 22. ; ecclesie, Blake ; ' of the Lord Abbot,' Knox. 

84 et ab, Blake. 

85 Corcagiae, Blake. 
8 6 annatim, Blake. 

87 deaurandum, Blake. 
8 8 Corcagie, Blake. 

89 thesaiirio, Blake. 

90 supra. Blake. 

91 portam, Blake. 

92 om, F. 4. 22. 

93 redant, Blake. 

94 in scriptum — Romana, om. F. 4. 22. 

95 reverendus in Christo pater, F. 4. 22. ; reverendus pater in Christo 
cm., Blake. 

96 Willielmus, Blake. 

97 apud — Gratie om. F. 4. 22. ; for Gratie, Blake and Knox read Christi, 

the augustinian abbey of cong, co. mayo. 147 

From an Old Manuscript of the 
Monastery of Cong. 

■ In the name of God. Amen. 

Know all by these presents that these are the true, 
indubitable, and authentic rentals of Cong, in fees, tithes, and 
other commodities and emoluments, from the first day of the 
dedication of the church down to the present day, viz. 

I. The first man and most illustrious king of Hibernia 
alias lernia, Domhnall son of Aed son of Ainmire, truly devout 
and obedient to Almighty God, dedicated and gave to God 
and the said church the parcel of land called Inys-nastryndroma 
and all the other parcels of land [i.e. islands) through the 
lake [ ] up to Dubrus. 

II. The same gave both the land and soil in which the 
monastery itself was founded in the first year of his reign, 

and the monastery itself was erected and rebuilt 500, 

and Dubhach O Dubhey was first lord abbot of the monastery. 

III. Item the said D[omhnall] gave the townland {haile) 
of Crois with its appurtenances to God and the said monastery. 

IV. Item the lord Diarmait son of Fergus, king of Ireland, 
gave the townland (haile) of Croibhis with its appurtenances 
to the said monastery. 

V. Item Toirdhealbhach Mor O Conchubhair (Turloch 
Mor O'Conor) gave the towmland [haile) of Cylguin with its 
appurtenances to the aforesaid monastery. 

VI. Item Eamonn Albanach, son of William de Burgo 
Knight, gave the quarter of land which is called Ardnagross 
to the said monastery, and the half-townland [leath-hhaile] of 

VII. Item Thomas de Burgo, son of the aforesaid, gave 
the half-townland [leath-hhaile) of Droim Silmoir and the 
half-quarter of Drom Silbeg to the aforesaid monastery. 

VIII. Item Richard ' of the horse,' son of [ ], constable 

of the lord de Burgo, gave the half-quarter of ay to the 

aforesaid monastery. 

IX. Item the stewards [ ] de Burgo gave the Canons' 
field in the townland [haile) of the Robe [i.e. Ballinrobe ?) to 
the aforesaid monastery. 

X. Item the aforesaid stewards gave [ ] of the Canons 


at Rath Moling in the townland [baile) of Sruthair to the 
aforesaid monastery. 

XI. And thus Teampall Colmain in the aforesaid townland 
(baile) belongs to the aforesaid monaster}^ and the wall (?) 
of the same, and Killin Coemain on the other side of the river, 
and the half-quarter of land of the hill which is called St. 
Patrick's in the same place. 

XII. Item Gibbon son of the Rector gave the half-quarter 
of Tamhnachliahain to the said monastery. 

XIII. Item Domhnall, son of Aedh, who is called 
O Flaithbheartaigh Mor gave the parcel of land called Oilen 
da Chruinne in the sea of Connemara to the said monastery. 

XIV. Item Thomas Seoigh who is called ' the Red ' gave 
the quarter of land called Cearhonangringineach, and the 
half-quarter called Seanmhadhharraightain, and the quarter 
of Cillin Dubhachta to the aforesaid monastery. 

XV. Item Toirdhealbhach Mor O Conchubhair gave [ ] 
of Liossonduibh in his territory on Sliabh Ban mountain to 
the aforesaid monastery. 

XVI. Item Ruaidhri, son of the aforesaid and king of 
Ireland, gave the townland {baile) and land of Gill Mor of the 
Moy to the said monastery, and a tenth (tithe) of the fish of 
the whole river Moy aforesaid, and a bell-rope to the aforesaid 
monastery from every ship coming to the said port from time 
to time for fishing and trading. 

XVII. Item Gormac Mac Garthy, lord of his nation, gave 
to the aforesaid monastery the parcel of land in the patrimony 
of Bearra which is called Inis Gonga, and a bell-rope should 
any ships come from time to time to the harbour of Dunboy. 

XVIII. Item Walter [? son of] William (?) de Burgo gave 
the half-quarter of land called Killinratha to the aforesaid 

XIX. All these named above are the fees of the aforesaid 
monastery. The predial, parsonage, and mixed tithes have now 
to be treated of. 

Of the Tithes. 

XX. The church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Cong, the 
half-townland [leath-bhaile) in the half-townland of Achole- 


athard, a half-townland in the townland [baile) of Athcuirce, 

XXI. Item Teampall Ruadhain in the townland {baile) of 
Robe (? Balhnrobe) etc., a half-townland {leath-baile) in the 
townland {baile) of Ballinrobe, etc. 

XXII. The church of Comman has 28 quarters, viz., the 
half-townland {leath-bhaile) of Scethelochain, etc. 

XXIII. Item that no secular can create {i.e. prefer) any- 
one in the city of Cork except by license, ordination (ordin- 
ance ?), and direction of the abbot of Cong. And on the day 
on which he is constituted and created, the abbot of Cork is 

bound to render to the abbot of Cong sixteen ccetae or 

half-marks of gold, for regilding the chalices of the monastery 
of Cong. And all the vestments of the new abbot of Cork 
[the latter] is bound to render to the treasury of Cong on that 

XXIV. But the aforesaid Cormac Mac Carthy gave a 
bell-rope to the monastery of Cong from every ship coming 
from time to time to the port of Cork. 

XXV. Thus happily are finished in the name of the Most 
High the rentals of Cong, both fees and tithes, and put in 
writing by me Tadhg O Duhi. And afterwards leaving them 
word for word with the Roman Curia (??) the reverend father 
in Christ, William Buidhe (' the Yellow ') O Duhi, abbot of 
Cong, left them with Joseph Pull as a register (?). 10 March 
in the year of Grace 1501. 


The Roman numerals refer to the numbered paragraphs of the translation. 

I. Domhnall son of Aed mac Ainmirech of Tir Chonaill 
regnabat 627-641 A.D. 

The dots under Duhrus etc. seem to indicate that such 
words are to be deleted. But nothing is supplied in their 
place. Blake (p. 136) suggests that Duhrus ' may be identical 
with the two quarters of Dowrishe mentioned in the Com- 
position of Mayo in 1585, as being in the Barony of Kilmaine, 
County Mayo ; or it may be identical with the island called 
Inishdauros, in Lough Corrib.' 

Dubrus : ' probably identical with Dowrusse, the name of 


a quarter of land in the Barony of Ross, in Joyce country ' 
(Blake) : ' seems to be the Doorus mentioned in the composi- 
tion as in Kilmaine barony ' (Knox). 

II. This paragraph is very corrupt. Idem may be an error 
of item. It seems as if a considerable piece of text has been 
dropped. Dubhtach O Dubhthaigh, abbot of Cong, ob. 1223, 
Ann. L. Ce. 

III. Crois : ' now Cross, a village in the parish of Cong ' 

IV. Croibhis : ' the Craebhs {sic), now middle, north, 
and south Creevagh, three townlands in Cong parish ' (Blake). 
'The only Dermot Mac Fergusa who was King of Ireland 
reigned in the 6th century. This must be some local king or 
chief (Knox). 

Diarmait son of Fergus Ceirrbheoil, king of Ireland, regnabat 
544/5-565/72, Ann. Ulster; slain 558 after 20 years' reign, 
A. P.M. He was succeeded by Ainmire, grandfather of the 
Domhnall mentioned I above. 

V. Cylguin-Oylgnium : ' possibly the " Neale," a well- 
known town and parish in the Barony of Kilmaine, County 
Mayo ' (Blake), ' seems to be the full name of the Neale. 
The abbey had property near it ' (Knox). Turloch Mor O'Conor 
died in 1156. 

VI. Eamonn Albanach, son of Sir William ' the Grey ' de 
Burgo {ob. 1324), died in 1375. 

Ardnagross has not been identified. 

Lioslachane : Judging by the patent of 17 June 6 Jac. I 
this must be an error for Liosluachra=^Lisloughry townland 
in the parish of Cong. 

VII. Thomas, s. of Eamonn Albanach, ob. 1401. 
Droim Silmoir and Drom Silbeg are the townlands of 

Upper and Lower Drumsheel near Cong. 

VIII. Blake and Knox both read ' son of Fiesucoba ' 
and identify Richard with ' Richard O Cuairisci ' son of 
Eamonn na Feasoige, ob. 1478. See also Knox, p. 400. Fr. 
McKenna suggests ' constable ' for conductor equi=^aire echtai 
(O'Curry, Manners and Customs, I ccxlvi). 

IX. Knox reads ' Segerin of the Canons ' and says ' Segerin 
suggests a connection with Kilmorosegir of the Taxation [of 
1306]. That reading may be correct. In any case that church 


is the present Killosheheen. Mr. Blake points out to me that 
Seges is used in No. 79 of the Blake Family records as equivalent 
to the Irish word Gort. Segerin is probably a copyist's mistake 
for Segetem.' Actually the MS. has segecim, a misreading of 
segeceni, segetem, so that Knox's suggested identification must 
be rejected. Fr. Mc Kenna suggests that trihunij^' stewards ' 
(Ir. niaor). 

X. Rath Moling : Ramolin townland, near the old church 
of Shrule, Co. Mayo (Blake). 

Sruthair : Shrule, Co. Mayo. 

XL ' Templecolmain is probably what is marked on the 
map as " Abbey ", close to Shrule church. Killeen Coemain 
being on the other side of the river is perhaps the Killeen of 
of Killeen Fort, a little east of Shrule. I do not know St. 
Patrick's Hill. Cong Abbey does not appear in the i6th cen- 
tury grants and surveys as having any property in Donagh- 
patrick Parish or in barony of Clare ' (Knox). The site of St. 
Colman's church at Shrule is marked on the 6" O.S. map, Co. 
Mayo, Sheet 122a. 

XII. Tamhnachliahain : Tonaleeaun townland in the parish 
of Cong. There is a Ballymacgibbon House marked on the O.S. 
Index Sheet for Co. Mayo. 

XIII. Domhnall Mor Flaithbheartaigh, lord of West 
Connacht, oh. 1407 {A.F.M.). 

Oilen da Chriunne : Crump Island, N. of Renvyle Castle 
(Blake & Knox). 

XIV. Thomas Seoigh : ' Thomas Ruadh Joy lived in the 
13th century according to Joyce pedigree ' (Knox). 

Cearhonangringineach : ' Now Griggins, a townland in Ross 
Barony, parish of Cong ' (Blake). 

Seanmhadhharraightain : Shanafaraghaun townland in Ross 
parish (Knox) ; ' Shawnafaraughan a townland in Ross 
Barony, parish of Cong ' (Blake). 

Cillin Dubhachta : Dooghta townland in Cong parish 
(Knox) ; ' now Dooghty, a townland in Ross Barony, parish 
of Cong, where there exists a holy well called Tobar-Fechin ' 

XV. Liossonduihh : Lios nDuhhthaigh ; ' now Lisson- 
uffy, a parish in the barony and county of Roscommon, 


about five miles south-east of Strokestown, beyond the Slew- 
bane mountain ' (Blake). 

XVI. cm Mor of the Moy : Whence Kilmoremoy parish 
in the baronies of Tirawley and Tireragh. 

XVII. Cormac Mac Carthy, king of Desmond, regnabat 
c. 1124-1138. 

XVIII. Probably Walter, son of Sir William Liath de 
Burgo, (Blake.) 

XX. Acholeathard : Aghalard townland in Cong parish 

XXII. Church of Comman : Now Kilcommon, the name 
of both a parish and townland in Kilmaine Barony, Co. Mayo 

Scethelochain : Skealoghan, townland in Kilcommon parish 

XXIII. For further evidence of a connection between 
Cong and Cork see Blake, King Dermot Mac Carthy' s Charter, 
A.D. 1 174, to ... Gill- Abbey (Journ. Cork. Hist. & Arch. Soc. 

On the suppression of the religious houses in Ireland in 
1542 (33 Hen. VIII, Session 2, cap. v), the temporalities of 
the abbey of Cong nominally passed to the Crown. Their 
immediate fate is not discoverable. So far I have found no 
mention of them in state records prior to 1568 when 
John Chaloner of Lambay got a lease for twenty-one years 
of the site of the monastery of Congge, the lands of Congge, 
a watermill, two weirs, etc., paying rents of £11 ys. ^d. for 
the temporalities and £21 los. od. for the spiritualities.^* 

Two years later a similar lease was issued to William 

In August 1578 the provost, burgesses, and commonalty 
of Athenry obtained a grant in fee simple of part of the pos- 
sessions of the monastery. ^°° In the following month a similar 
grant was made to the mayor, bailiffs, etc., of Galway, for 

98 Fiants Eliz, No.. 1238, Uth Dep. Keeper, 184. 

99 Ibid., No. 1776, \2th Dep. Keeper, 42-3. 
100 Ihid.. No. 3419, 13/A Dep. Keeper, 95. 


fifty years from the determination of existing interests.\°^ 
This grant seems to refer to the same properties as the Chaloner 
and ColHer leases. 

In June 1595 Edmund Barret was granted a part of the 
abbey's possessions. ^°^ 

In 1597 ^^^ 1603 two further grants are recorded, viz., 
to Trinity College, Dublin, and to Richard Mapowder.^°^ 

In 1603 we find John Kinge and John Bingeley described 
as ' tenantes of the abbayes of Boyle, Conge, Ballintubber, 
and St. John's of Athie, for divers yeares yet to come.' They 
made successful suit for a lease in reversion of these and other 
monastic properties, and a patent was issued to Sir George Cary 
requiring him to give them a lease for fifty years ' after the 
State now in beinge.'^°'^ 

Two years later Kinge and Bingeley, ' farmors to us in 
the abbaies of Boyle, Conge, and Ballintubber,' petitioned 
King James to accept a surrender of these tenements and to 
regrant them to them ' uppon a new survey and inquisition, 
for the same yeares they now have, and the rentes now 
answered.' Their second suit was also successful, and Chichester 
was instructed to give effect to the royal decision. ^°^ 

As a result, an inquisition was taken at Cong on 12 April 
1606, copies of which are to be found in the Chancery Inquisi- 
tions preserved in the Public Record Office, Dublin, ^°^ and in 
the Ro3^al Irish Academy (Ordnance Survey MSS.). 

Apparently Kinge and Bingeley were not satisfied with the 
findings, for in September of the same year another inquisition 
was held at Cong. A copy of this is also preserved in the 
Royal Irish Academy (Ordnance Survey MS.) and the Public 
Record Office, Dublin. It bears a closer resemblance to the 
Rental of 1501 than does the April inquisition. The following 
is my translation of a certified copy.^°^ 

101 Ibid., p. 101, No. 3463. 

102 Ibid., No. 5933, 16th Dep. Keeper. 267. 

103 FiantsEliz., 17 & 18 Dep. Keeper. 

104 Erck : A repertory of the inrolments on the patent rolls of Chancery 
in Ireland .... Vol. I, p. 34 ; Cal. Pat. J as. 7, p. 6, No. LXXXIV. 

105 Erck, p. 235 ; Cal. Pat. Jas. I, p. 84, No. XXXII. 

106 Vol. 15, Inquisit. in Offic. Rot. Cane. Hib. Mayo and Roscommon. 

107 Vol. 15, Inquisit. in Offic. Cane. Hib. Mayo and Roscommon and Cal. 
Inquis., Co. Mayo, Eliz. — Wm. cS- Mary {Chy. rembrcr., p. 2. 16. Inquis. 9 
Published by kind permission of the Public Record Office. 


' Inquisition taken at Conge on the 4th September 1606, before 
Nicholas Brady on the oath of good men, who say, that Enneas Mc Donill, 
abbot of the late monastery of Conge, on the 1st of March in the 33rd 
year of the reign of King Henry \'III, was seized as in fee, by right of the 
aforesaid monastery, of the whole abbey of Cong with all lands and tene- 
ments ; and of 1 quarter called Ardugross, and of i quarter called Killickra 
near Ballyloghmeske, and of the church called Templecolman in the town 
(viW) of Shrowell, with all the lands, tenements, and tithes belonging to 
the said church, and also of 1 small parcel of land called Ramelyn in 
Shrowell aforesaid, all of which premises lie in the barony of Killmayn ; 
and also of Dowrishe and Inishedowrish with their appurtenances 
and of 1 quarter called Carrownegroginaghe, and of the i quarter 
of Shanevocharraghan, and of 1 quarter called Killnidought, and 
of the town and land of Killmoremoy, all which premises lie in the 
barony of Rosse ; and of all tithes both great and small proceeding from 
all the lands, tenements, and hereditaments whatsoever recited above 
belonging to the said abbey ; and of all the tithes of the fishings of the 
river called Moy in the barony of Tireawly, and of the rectory of Ballimally 
with all profits whatsoever, and of a certain custom, namely un' funis 
campan' , in English, a bell-rope, out of every ship in the river of Moy ; 
and of 1 quarter called Any which had been given to the aforesaid abbey 
by a certain ^^'alter Bourke fitz Thomas fitz Edmond Albenagh on con- 
dition that, if any woman of the stock of the said Walter should take a 
vow of chastity, she should be sustained by the abbey of Conge ; and 
that the aforesaid Eneas, being thus seized on the 1st of March in the 
33rd year of the reign of King Henry VIII of all the aforesaid premises, 
the said abbot, and all the canons likewise, left the aforesaid late abbey 
voluntarily and by their assent and consent, and never afterwards returned 
to the premises.' 

On the face of it, it looks as if Kinge and Bingeley knew of 
the Rental and were familiar with its contents so that they 
could not rest easy until they had turned it to their own 
profit. It may have been the basis of the findings of the Sept- 
ember Inqu'sition. At any rate, on 17th June 1608 they got 
a Crown lease for 116 years from 18 May 1608 of, inter alia : 

' The site, &c. ... of the late abbey or monastery of canons of Conge 
— the town, liberties, and lands of Conge, one ruinous tiouse or castle called 
the Old Court in Conge belonging to the Archbishop of Tuam excepted 
— in Dromshilmore, 2 qrs — Lisloghrie, 2 qrs— in Dromshilbeg, \ qr — 
of Crevagh, 4 qrs — Killogaragh, 2 qrs — Clogher, 1 qr — Nunnery, 2 qrs, 
with all the tithes, great and small, of all the premises ; parcel of the estate 
of Conge abbey — -the islands of Dowresse and Inishgoile, and all the 
smaller islands adjoining — the 4 qrs of the town or village of Kilmore, 
with all the tithes, small and great thereof, and of other 6 qrs of land in 
the baronies of Tireragh and Tyrawly in Sligo and Mayo cos, within the 
parish of Kilmore . . . one moiety of the tithes, small and great, being 
parcel of the rectories, churches, chapels, or parishes of Kilmaynemore, 
Kilmolaragh, Shrolle, Kinlogh, Killnebrenin, Templeroan, St. Clary's of 
Conge, Ballicallagh, Rosse, Kilmainebcgg, and Kilcomman — the vicarages 
of St. Mary in Conge and Kilmainebeg . . . Ardnegross 1 qr — Killickra 
near Ballyloughmeske, \ qr — the church . . . tithes, &c of Templecolman 
in the town of Shrowell — a parcel of land called Ramelin in Shrowel . . . 
The islands called Dowrishe and Inchdowrishe — Carrownegroginagh, 1 qr — 
Shanevocharraghan, ^ qr — Killindought, 1 qr — the town and lands of 


Kilmoremoy . . . the tithes of fishing of the whole river, bay, or creek 
called Moy . . . The rectory, tithes, etc. of Bally mally ... A certain 
custom of one bell rope from and out of every ship entering either to fish 
or to trade within the said river of Moy . . . Any, 1 qr . . . The town and 
lands of Lisseduffe in Sleighbane, containing 4 qrs, with the tithes thereof 
— the tithes of 12 qrs in Sleighbane . . . The moiety of all the tithes, 
great and small, belonging to the rectory or parish of Carrowreogh . . . 
The rectory, church, or chapel of Conomarra, with all the tithes, great 
and small, of all the lands, &c. of Upper and Lower Conomarra ; all the 
premises herebefore recited being parcels of the estate of the abbey of 
Conge; rent 28/ 17s 4d Ir.'ios 

The subsequent fate of the Cong properties may now be 
very briefly outlined. 

On 25 March 1647 Sir Maurice Eustace received letters 
patent for the same properties at the same rent as Kinge 
and Bingeley. No copy of this grant has survived, but the 
parcels are fully set out on the ' old ' ( = 1826) Crown Rental 
preserved in the Quit Rent Office, Dublin. Apparently Eus- 
tace's grant was subject to the existing lease to Kinge and 

The Act of Settlement secured Eustace in his lands of 
inheritance and leases for years. ^°^ He died in 1665 and was 
succeeded by his son James (who was attainted and fled to 
France). His estates were sold by the Trustees of the 1688 
forfeitures, but Cong and its appurtenances were not included 
in the sales. ^^° Sir Maurice was one of those subsequently 
included in the Articles of Limerick as entitled to be restored 
to his estates and property. In 1697 a private Act was passed 
for settling certain rectories according to his Will. In 1720 
another Act was passed authorising the sale of his estates to 
pay his debts. But by that time the Cong properties had 
passed to other hands. The Crown Rent Roll of 1706 for the 
barony of Kilmayne, Co. Mayo (129 verso) ^^^ describes Cressy 
Tasborrogh as ' Tenant in the Scite Circuit and precinct of the 
late Abby or Monastry of the Commons {sic. r. Canons) of Conge, 
the Town & Lands of Conge, Two qrs. of Land in Dromshilmore, 
2 qrs. of Land in Kilcloghery, | a qr. in Dromshilbeg Crevagh, 

108 Erck I. 454 ; Cal. pat. Jas. I, p. 125, No. LI. 

109 The statutes at large passed in the parliaments held in Ireland . . ... 
Vol. II, p. 348, 14-15 Chas. II, sess. 4, c. iv). The lands and leases in question 
are not set out. 

110 Reports from the Commissioners . . Public Records of Ireland, III, p. 364, 
Nos. 32, 34. 

111 Quit Rent Ofhce, Dublin. 


4 qrs. and | qr. Tomlaine, |- qr. in Clovin Kilglony, i qr. Cross, 
2 qrs. Killogharagh, 2 qrs. Clogher, 2 qrs. i qr. Numer}', 2 qrs. 
Dowross Island, Inishgoyle Island and all the small Islands 
adjoyning Dowrossereene. Inishgoyle 4 qrs. with all ye Tythes 
great and Small growing or ariseing out of the said Lands 
being pts. or parcells of the said Abby aforesd. lying & being 
in the Com. of Gallway & of Mayo. One qr. of Land called 
Annegross, a qr. called Killkea, one small parcell of Land 
Raddedan in Shrewle in the Bar. of Kilmaine together with 
Sevll. other Lands and Tythes in the County Roscomon & 
Sleigoe at the Intire yearly Rent of Twenty one pounds Thirteen 
shill. per Ann.'"^ 

The explanation of this change of ownership is to be found 
in a Chancery Proceedings decree of 24 Nov. 1728. The plain- 
tiffs were Sir Robert Echlen, Thomas Tickell, Clotilda Tickell 
alias Eustace, and Chatwood Eustace, the defendants being 
Henry Tasburgh, (ieorge MacNamara, and others. It was 
decreed that plaintiffs should pa}'^ Henry Tasburgh principal, 
interest, and costs due to him upon the mortgaged lands and 
premises in the pleadings. Whereupon Tasburgh should recon- 
vey to the plaintiffs . . . the site of the abbey of Cong . . . 
and also all tithe fishings of the whole river, ba^' or creek called 
Moy etc. etc. The decree referes to 18 May 1724, when the 
lease to Kinge and Bingeley expired, but there is no reference 
to Sir Maurice Eustace's patent. It also provided for an action 
to be taken to try whether George MacNamara had notice that 
the co-heirs of Sir John Eustace claimed an interest in the 
premises on the expiration of the King-Bingeley lease. 

112 The Kinge-Bingeley rent of ^28.13.4 Iyish=£2l .13.0 ' late currency 
=jri9.19.8i British. 



- ^^m mm 

CRcnATioN 2 


W^Topsoii ^Yellow clay. W^Grey clny. fMFine^ 
^^yellow silt H Cfiarcoai. C 

Ashes and burnt'. 

nd. W^ Stones, m 5lac^ eartf^ fdi ^SuJbsolL 
w Mixed Furnas and clay. 















I — I 

ArCI^ or CRCri^TiON. 

CD r^^r Stoncs 

MM Ditch. 

r\pman numbers refer to 


Fig. 2. 

cremalioD area 
burnt earth- 
pit oiilline. 
Q flat stones. 



Fig. 3. 

O 10 20 30 ^0 SO 60 70 80 90 lOO cnS. -SHERDS 


Fig. 4. — Tumuhis II, plan and section of pit containing Cremation 2. 

(For symbols see Plate I.) 


C remat t on . 
C harcoai . 
Burnt earth. 


Fig. 5. 

[ 157 ] 

The Tumulus-Cemetery of 

Co. Mayo 


Part I — Carrowjames I. 

The site which I have described as a tumulus-cemetery lies 
in the townland of Carrowjames, parish of Drum, Barony of 
Carra, County Mayo, and will be found on O.S. 6", Mayo, 
Sheet 90, 20.5 cms. from the left, 25 cms. from the top. The 
mounds themselves are not marked and to Dr. Sean Langan, 
Castlebar, is due the credit for having first discovered and 
reported them. As the excavation of the site extended over 
two seasons and as it seemed possible that a chronological 
distinction might exist between the group examined in 1935 
and that examined in 1936 it was decided for filing purposes 
to refer to each season's activities as Carrowjames I and II 
respectively. This system has been accepted in the following 

The excavation (which is listed No. XXIII in the official 
Museum and Office of Public Works files) was undertaken as 
part of a Scheme for the Relief of Unemployment, adminis- 
tered for the Irish Government by the National Museum and 
the Ancient Monuments Section of the Office of Public Works. 
The first season's work covered the period 14th September, 
1935, to 28th October, 1935. In all 12 workmen were employed. 
The supervision was carried out by the writer, whose thanks 
are due to the following for many kindnesses and for consistent 
help throughout : Dr. Hugh O'Neill Hencken, Harvard Uni- 
versity ; Dr. Sean Langan, Castlebar ; Mr. H. G. Leask, 
Dublin ; Dr. A. Mahr, Dublin ; and Mr. John O'Malley, the 



The site (Fig. i) consisted altogether of 10 mounds, one 
of which unfortunately had been partly cut away in making 
the road from Castlebar to Ball^'glass village. It was not 
excavated and is so marked on the site-plan. A small standing- 
stone is situated near one of the mounds of Carrowjames II, 
a second stands on a low ridge to the west and a third due east 
of the cemetery. The tumuli were thrown up on rather marshy 
land at the bottom of a valley between low-lying ridges. 
The subsoil of the region is a very coarse grey glacial gravel. 

The total area covered by the cemetery is about 180 metres 
long and no metres wide, the long axis running roughl}^ 
northwest-southeast. The three mounds of Carrowjames I lie 
on the extreme northwestern limit. They are diagonally shaded 
on Fig. I. No ditch was discernible on the surface round any 
of them. The structure of all was the same. As a base for each 
the tumulus builders selected a natural rise in the subsoil 
(see e.g. Section A-B, Tumulus I, PL I, Fig. i). They seem 
to have stripped the sod from this area, and then round the 
rise they dug a ditch, the grey sandy material from which 
the}' threw over the original subsoil (see e.g. PI. I, Figs. 1,2). 
Over this grey sandy layer they put down a thicker layer of 
sods which, with the passage of time, turned into a ^-ellow clay. 
On top of this sod layer, the upper part of which had become 
a grey to buff-coloured clay, they lighted a fire, the charcoal 
and ash remains of which were clearly discernible. Over this 
they placed more sods, and the stratigraphy ends with the 
accumulation of humus. The ditches were later filled with a 
cream-coloured sticky silt. In no case was there any discer- 
nible trace of old turf line, which indicated that the whole area 
to the edge of the ditch had been stripped. 

Tumulus I (Plan, Fig. 2 and PI. II, i) averaged 14.50 m. 
in overall diameter. Its greatest height above the subsoil, 
taken at the centre, was 50 cms. (PI. I, Figs, i, 2). The ditch 
varied in width from 1.25 m. to 2.20 m., with an average 
depth of 30 cms. The centre of the mound, covering an area 
approximately 5 m. in diameter, was formed of large stones, 
averaging 40 by 30 by 20 cms., set rather loosely together 
and at varying distances from each other. They rested in 
the grey sand at the base of the artificial rise, and often occurred 


in groups of five or six together, particularly in the south- 
eastern quadrant. 

In the approximate centre (Fig. 2) was a layer of charcoal, 
1.90 m. long and 1.40 wide. It was 8 cms. thick and lay 30 cms. 
below the present surface of the mound, forming, as it were, 
a boundary between Cremations 2 and 3. Under it, and 
co-terminous with it, was a layer of greyish white ash, with 
small pieces of charcoal through it. The fire had evidently 
burnt itself out before the top layer of sods was placed over it. 
There were three patches of earth burnt red, two in the 
northwestern and one in the northeastern quadrant. They 
are not marked on the plan as they did not seem to belong to 
the mound in the prehistoric sense. They were : 

(i) 23 cms. below the surface, just above the silt of the 

ditch. It was 5 cms. in diameter and i cm. thick. 

Small pieces were scattered through the soil nearby, 

No charcoal was found with it. 

(2) 25 cms. below the surface, outside the mound. It was 

mixed with the ordinary topsoil. 

(3) 20 cms. below the surface, 15 cms. long, 10 cms. wide 

and 5 cms. thick. No charcoal was found with it. 

These patches all occurred in the humus and mainly out- 
side the tumulus. They may be due to the fact that up to 
about forty 3-ears ago land was burned in order to make arti- 
ficial manure. The site had then been tillage land and, indeed, 
was tilled five or six years ago by the present owner. He, 
however, assured me that he ploughed only three or four 
inches deep ; and it was evident that the mounds had been 

The burials were in all cases cremations. hiJmiyiLliS— L 
there were three : 

Cremation i was in the south-eastern quadrant of the 
mound, and was scattered over an area 4.50 m. long and 3 m. 
wide. The bones, which were broken into very tiny fragments, 
occurred from just below the surface almost to the base of 
the yellow clay, i.e., to a depth of 30 cms. Within this area, 
in the yellow clay, were found four small nondescript bronze 
fragments. It was impossible to determine their purpose, or 
the object of which they formed parts, due to their broken 


and corroded condition. The bones were those of a child, 
but the sex could not be determined.* 

Cremation 2 consisted of a small pocket of bones which 
had been well cremated and broken. For them a small pit 
had been dug almost in the centre of the mound, beginning 
in the humus 12 cms. below the surface and extending through 
the top level of the yellow clay almost to the level of the char- 
coal. The depth of the pit was 24 cms. and its diameter 45 cms. 
It was filled by a mixture of brown earth and yellow clay, 
and contained nothing save the bones which were those of a 
small adult, possibly a female (PL I, Fig. 2). 

Cremation 3 lay in the centre of the tumulus. Like No. 2 
above, a pit had been dug for it, but on this occasion with 
evidence of greater care. It was 40 cms. deep and 60 cms. 
wide, with almost perpendicular sides (PI. I, Fig. 2). It began 
just under the layer of charcoal, and would seem to have been 
dug when the mound was half erected. The tumulus then 
consisted of the grey sand and a layer of sods. Through these 
the pit was dug, the cremation inserted and the whole covered 
by a flat slab of limestone (P. II, 2, 3) and possibly by a single 
layer of sods. Over this, though presumably at a later date, 
a wood fire was lighted. Lying on its charcoal remains were 
five or six fragments of cremated bones. In time vegetable 
matter and top soil from the sods, mixed with a certain amount 
of charcoal from the fire above, trickled down and filled the 
pit with a black earth of sooty consistency. 

Two persons had been buried in this pit — an adult and a 
child. It was not possible to determine the sex in either case. 
With the bones was found a small bronze " razor " f broken 
in two pieces with one rivet-hole still retaining its rivet (Fig. 
7, f.). In its original condition it would measure 6.7 cms. 
long and 2 cms. wide. Two pieces of mica schist were also 
found with the bones. 

Other finds from Tumulus I (excluding obviously modern 
objects, such as china, etc.) were : 

(i) A fragment of sheep humerus, which lay 20 cms. 

* I must here express my gratitude to Professor J. Kay Jamieson of 
Trinity College, Dublin, for his careful examination of the osteological 
material from the site. 

f I use inverted commas because it is by no means taken for granted 
that these objects were actually razors. 


below the surface in the yellow clay in the south- 
eastern quadrant.* 

(2) The lower jaw-bone of a dog of terrier breed, in the 

yellow clay in the NE. quadrant. 

(3) Some shells [Helix nemoralis) found within the area 

of Cremation i, 15-20 cms. below the surface. 

(4) A small flint scraper, 2.7 cms. long, 2 cms. wide, 1.2 

cms. thick. It has a fine creamy patination. It 
was found in the yellow clay, 30 cms. below the 
surface in the NE. quadrant. 
The history of Tumulus I then seems to be as follows : When 
the trench had been dug and the first layer of sods laid down 
over the grey sand from it a pit was dug, extending some dis- 
tance into the subsoil. In this was the primary burial (or 
burials) . It is very likely that the adult here buried was male, 
as an investigation of the evidence has shown that in each 
case in which a " razor " occurred with a cremation the sex 
of which could be determined it was invariably male. 

It is difficult to say whether the fire had been made during 
the interment ceremonies of this primary burial, but several 
facts lead to the conclusion that it was a later addition. A 
glance at the sections (PL I, Figs, i, 2.) will show that the 
charcoal layer was not symmetrical above the pit, as it would 
have been if made immediately after the filling of the latter 
with bones. Instead, its main bulk lay rather to one side. 
Again, the finding of a few fragments of cremated bone in the 
charcoal indicate its association with a later burial than Crema- 
tion 3, that is, it was lighted in connection with the deposition 
of Cremation 2. The relatively small quantity of charcoal and 
ash precludes its having been used as a pyre. It was rather a 
purificatory or ceremonial fire in which the already cremated 
bones were placed for a period before final burial in the pit 
above. How much later than Cremation 3 this burial took 
place it is impossible to say, though I incline to the opinion 
that it was not very much later. Indeed, with Cremation i 
it may represent sati. 

Tumulus II (Plan, Fig. 3) corresponded in many particulars 
with No. I. It measured 14 metres in average outside diameter, 

* I am indebted to Mr. A. W. Stelfox of the Natural History Section of 
the National Museum for kindly identifying the animal bones and the shells. 


and its greatest height above the subsoil was 55 cms. The 
stratification was identical with that of Tumulus I. The ditch, 
silted up as in the above mound, averaged 1.80 m. wide and 
45 cms. deep. In the south-eastern quadrant was a patch of 
earth burnt red lying 30 cms. below the surface in the yellow 
clay. It contained no charcoal, but was mixed with the clay 
around it. It was 5 cms. thick, and contained a few fragments 
of cremated bone, probably belonging to Cremation i. 

There were two layers of charcoal approximately in the 
centre of the mound. Layer a (Fig. 3, PI. i. Fig. 3) was i m. 
long, 80 cms. wide and 6 cms. thick. Under it and approxi- 
mately coterminous with it was a layer of earth burned red, 
2 cms. thick. This was the result of the burning in situ of the 
logs. Layer a rested on the top of the yellow clay and at the 
base of the humus. 

Layer b was irregular in shape. It measured 2.60 m. on its 
longest axis. It lay 22 cms. below the surface and rested on 
the thin band of grey clay which seems to represent a turf line 
at one stage of the mound's existence. La^'er b averaged 8 cms. 
thick. It sloped in towards the centre, which was slightly 
lower than the edges. With it were found a few small fragments 
of cremated bones. 

The core of the mound was formed of an area of fairly large 
stones thrown loosely together in the manner of Tumulus I. 
Here again the interments were all cremations : 

Cremation i was scattered over a large area of the SE. 
quadrant. The bones lay in the yellow clay at various levels 
from 20 to 35 cms. below the surface. They were well cremated 
and comminuted. Of the remains it can only be said that they 
were those of a smallish person whose sex and age could not be 

Cremation 2 (PI. Ill, i) was interred in a pit in the 
centre of the mound (Fig. 4). The pit was roughly oval and 
measured 90 cms. long, 37-47 cms. wide. It was 30 cms. 
deep, its bottom being formed by the top of the gravel sub- 
soil into which it did not penetrate. Its construction was 
similar to the pit containing Cremation 3 in Tumulus I, i.e., 
the mound had been partly erected and then the pit was made. 
This is a very interesting and, as far as one can judge, an 
unusual feature in connection with a primary interment. 


The rule would seem to have been that a pit was first of all 
made in the original surface and extending into the subsoil. 
Over this the mound was erected. 

The pit had been covered rather inadequatelv bv three 
flat slabs of limestone, one of which had partly collapsed to 
the serious detriment of the clay vessel which it covered 
(Fig. 4). The pit was then filled, probably immediately after 
the interment, by a very fine loamy soil containing much 
vegetable matter. Round the urn were piled some fairh' large 
stones, the pressure of which also helped in its destruction. 

The burial was that of an adult whose sex could not be 
determined definitely, though it was probably male. He 
suffered from rheumatic joints. The bones were well cremated, 
though not broken into any smaller pieces than the actual 
firing would cause. They were placed in a cinerary urn which 
was then inverted in one corner of the pit. It is possible, due 
to the size of the pit, and the position of the urn in it, that the 
former had been meant to receive other vessels, containing 
possibly the bones of other members of the the dead man's 

With the bones was another bronze "razor" (Fig. 7, e). 
It is complete and still has a very sharp edge. At one end a 
rather rudimentary tang is suggested, containing one rivet- 
hole. The " razor " measures 6.50 cms. long and 2.20 cms. 
wide. It is about 5 mm. thick. 

Other objects found in Tumulus II were : 

(i) A hoUow scraper of flint with a creamy patination 
(Fig. 7, c). It came from the yellow clay in the 
NE. quadrant, 40 cms. below the surface. 

(2) Fragments of fused cla\' from the gre\' sand of the NE. 


(3) Similar fragments from the same stratum in the XW. 
Tumulus III_ (PL IV, i ; Plan, Fig. 5) was 15.50 m. in 

outside diameter and 54 cms. high above the subsoil at the 
centre. The construction and stratification were similar to 
those of Tumuli I and II. The ditch (PL III, 2) which was 
silted to the top, averaged 2.10 m. in width and was 45 cms. 
deep. The core of the mound, as in the previous instances, was 
formed of large loose stones. There were two layers of charcoal : 
Layer a was 3.70 m. long and 65 cms. wide. Its long axis 


ran North and South. It lay 32 cms. below the surface in the 
band of grey clay. It was 4 cms. thick. There was a very 
definite distinction between its edges and the clay around it 
(PI. IV, 3). The striations all ran in one direction, viz., N-S, 
giving the appearance of bark which had been burned. It 
appeared to have been a roughly-shaped plank which had been 
burned with the bark still on it. The soil underneath was not 
burned. Through the charcoal ran a long slit, 10 cms. wide 
and 1.20 m. long. 

La3'er b was a thin stratum of rather scattered charcoal, 
2.35 m. long and 1.70 m. wide. It lay 35 cms. below the surface 
in the centre of the mound and was 5 cms. thick. Partly under 
it was a small patch of earth burnt red, also 5 cms. thick 
(PI. I, Fig. 5). AH the interments were crernations. 

Cremation 1 lav in the SE. quadrant. The bones, which 
were those of an adolescent whose sex and age could not be 
determined, were well-cremated and broken into very small 
fragments. They were scattered through the humus on the 
slope of the mound ; the area they occupied was by no means 
as extensive as was the case with the scattered cremations in 
the other tumuli. 

Cremation 2 lay in the centre of the mound, actually in 
the pit containing Cremation 3. The bones were scattered, 
above and round the cinerary urn of the latter. Nothing 
could be determined about the bones, save that they were 
human. The interment may point to sati, the bones of a second 
person being interred with those of the individual for whom 
the mound was originally raised. 

Cremation 3 corresponded to Cremation 2 of Tumulus II 
in that it was also an urn burial. For it a pit, 85 cms, in 
diameter and 50 cms. deep, had been dug partly into the 
subsoil, as was the case with the primary interment in Tumulus 
I (PI. Ill, 2, 3). It was filled with the same sort of black 
earthy soil, but had no covering stones. The vessel had been 
inverted in the pit and contained a large quantity of bones, 
representing an individual whose age and sex could not be 
determined. The fact that the " razor " lay on top of the bones 
indicates that it had been placed first on the bottom of the 
empty urn, which was then filled with the bones. 

The " razor " (Fig. 7, d) differs from the other two in that 


it has two rivet-holes and has a more pronounced oval shape. 

Its edge is also very sharp, and its thickness .5 mm. It is 

5.9 cms. long and 2.7 cms. wide. 

Other finds from Tumulus III were : 
(i) A tanged and barbed arrowhead of flint (Fig. 7, b). 
It was found in the NE. quadrant, 41 cms. below 
the surface in the yellow clay. It measures 2.4 cms. 
long and 2 cm. wide at the barbs. It has a white 
patination, fine secondary chipping round the edges 
and a sharp point. 

(2) A hollow scraper, also flint (Fig. 7, a) 45 cms. below the 

surface in the yellow clay. It is 3.6 cms. long and 
measures 3.7 cms. on its widest axis. It has a 
creamy patination. 

(3) A shell {Helix nemoralis) was found in the silt of the 

ditch in the NE. quadrant. 

(4) Two flint flakes, found in the NE. quadrant, associated 

with Cremation 2. 

(5) A flint chip in charcoal layer a. 

(6) A few cremated bones were found just under the sod 

in the NE. 
To conclude Part I of the Carrowjames report the pottery 
must be described. Only two vessels were found and these in 
such a bad state of preservation that nothing like completeness 
of restoration could be achieved. Not only was the pottery 
of itself badly fired and therefore tended to crumble very 
easily, but when exposed to the air it was found to be of the 
same consistency as the clay surrounding it. Indeed, the 
workman who uncovered the urn in Tumulus III made a hole 
in the bottom before he realised the difference. The 
prompt application of an acetone solution did not help very 
much. The whole bottom portion of the urn in Tumulus II 
had been destroyed by the weight of soil and stones above it 
before excavation began, but it may be presumed to have been 
similar to that of the urn from Tumulis III. In future, for 
purposes of references, wt shall call the latter A and the former 
B. The rim of A, which was resting on the soil without any 
other protection, had completely disintegrated, though one 
slight portion suggested that it had an internal bevel. The 
rim of B was perfect around most of its circumference. 


A, when complete, must have been about 34 cms. high 
(Fig. 6, top). Its greatest cHameter, about the middle, is 
28.5 cms. The walls are 1.3 cms. thick and the base is flat. 
It is red on the outside, black to grey on the inside, and is 
formed of a coarse gritty paste, with a great quantity of quartz 
grains through it. Its decoration is of the simplest. Just below 
where the rim must have been is a slightly raised cordon. 
Between this and two bands of double-cordons (thus making 
five cordons in all) is a band, 6 cms. wide, with incised hori- 
zontal lines crossed by others sloping at various angles. 

As the illustration shows, the shape of this pot is unusual 
and does not conform to the normal bucket-shape of the 
Cordoned I'rn Type. This, coupled with the unusual number 
of cordons and the bad quality of the paste, indicates its late 

B (Fig. 6, bottom) must have been about as high as A. 
It is 35.5 cms. wide and the walls are 1.3 thick. In firing 
and texture it does not differ from the first vessel. Its shape, 
however, seems to have been more normal. The rim is inter- 
nally bevelled in the Late Bronze Age tradition, though the 
angle is not very steep. This pot has only two cordons, which 
are not as pronounced as in A. An incised line runs along the 
ridge of each. Between them and the rim is a band of incised 
ornament, consisting of outlined triangles, the apices of the 
top row fitting between the bases of the bottom row. The 
bases in each case are joined by a continuous horizontal line, 
also incised. 

It is not intended here to go into the question of the origin 
and devolution of the type. That, and a full discussion of the 
chronological position and cultural affinities of Carrowjames I, 
will be treated of in the second part of this paper, when the 
cemetery as a whole will be studied. 

A few words, however, must be said as to the date and 
ultimate affinities of the mounds above discussed. The main 
evidence is, of course, the two urns. They are of the Cordoned 
type, for which devolution from the Overhanging Rim Type 
has been suggested as the basis. Ouantatively Scotland is the 
homeland of the type, and the distribution map here given 
(Fig. 8) bears out the theory that these urns were introduced 
from Scotland into the north-eastern corner of Ireland, whence 


the}' spread south and west. This would lead to the conclusion 
that Knockast* and similar midland sites were not due to 
an immigrant movement via the Eastern coast, but rather to 
an expansive movement from the north. 

" Razors " of the Carrowjames T^'pe seem to be exclusively 
associated with cordoned urns. As the vessels from Carrow- 
james I are exceedingly degenerate representatives of their 
t^'pe and as they are very far from the focus of the movement, 
it seems that this ovoid-type is rather later, if an3'thing, than 
the type with a pronounced tang, which is usually finely orna- 
mented, f 

Dr. Mahr, in his Presidential Address to the Prehistoric 
Societ}',! is of the opinion that " razors " of Carrowjames 
tj'pe are of Middle Bronze Age date. This, in view of the 
association with Cordoned Urns and the generally late date 
of the latter, cannot well be retained. 

In conclusion, I should like to point to some distinctive 
features of Carrowjames L The mounds are all very low and 
ver}' small. Each contains a cremation scattered over a fairly 
large area of the SE. quadrant. Each has had a central fire, 
sealing the entrance to the pit containing the primary burial. 
Each contained a primary central burial with a " razor." 
The juxtaposition of the mounds, their similarity of structure 
and of funerary outlay clearly indicate that, if not contem- 
poraneous, they all fall at least within a generation of each 

Finall}-, I should like to state my views, the evidence for 
which I shall bring forward in Part II of this paper. I hold 
that Carrowjames I is the most westerly representative of the 
Cordoned Urn Group, one stage of whose development is to 
be found in Scotland ; that the " razors " which the site 
produced are later than those leaf-shaped tanged and decorated 
specimens ; and finally, that a position very late in Late 
Bronze Age B must be assigned to it. In figures, I should 
suggest somewhere about 300 B.C. 

* P. R.I. A.. 41, C. 1934, 232-84. 

t Examples from Knockast {loc. cit., Fig. 5) and PoUacoiragune (this 
Journal, XVII, i & ii, pp. 44-64, PI. facing p. 52). 
+ Proc. Prek. Soc, N.S.. Vol. 3, 1937, 261-436. 

0125456J89 10 cms. 
Fig, 6. — Cordoned urn A above, B below. 

I Z 3 4 S 6 f cms. 

Im.mul \ \ \ \ \ \ 

Fig. 7. — Bronze and flint objects from Carrowjames I. 

'^_1. eeifisi^ -luiiM 









6 -^ 
2 § 


nj CO 
















• •-I 




o 6 

bo hn 

c S 

w rt rt 

3 O 


3 -M +J 

'"' ci co' 

hi bi bp 

(^ (^ i^ 


CO - 














•— • 






• •*-» 






•*-" rt 

)— 1 


rt ^ 









1— 1 






•'- Ul 

(fl 3 


■^ ,^ 


C 3 














t; S 


o z. 



1. 1 

<N CO 

bi fail bb 

P^ tlntlH 







- =1 

o c . 
.2 < 

hJ o " ^ 
Ah «Q J= 

















Fig. 8. — Map showing the distribution of cordoned urns. 









A Galway 


Dea,- Sir-May I seek the hospU 
time, combining late ^07^?<pXc" 

This iwith classic mouldings ^J'g^^j.^^pub- ecture of the sixteenth 
centuri^^«/:^,^f ^^^845 ir had been ad- ted before in a small 

Lv,vx ivwxvji^ in a small 
Practical Geology and 
^''^'^Ishut away m a pnva.. a-;-.-" 3n : J. Murray, 1845, 
p. 158 the loss «*,/^^,,^;^;:Ttrremovalwfth ent in its way is very 
^^^11 i-eSuSi bad'it ^be- i-Jt the remarkable com- 
plexit3 immediate dange^jf itf surviving^d desirable, therefore, 
to Pubb^iUnt of the house to which ^t .^, ^.^^^ 

o^..* ,L... There was no such ^^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^.^^ 

Tis with classic mould- 

in Ireh 
ings — c 

, eSged The« was no_^-'£ 
trSve- '"Furthermore, sufBcieut ,_^ ^ ^,_^^^,^ ,„^^^_ 

-— ' »' !Ft"'?r^artCXam'"riS interlacements. The 
convenr;;f^,Je Vartial '■«"*°f"°"' ,„^Tf fg'^ a"<l squared form 

In vdely acel'ted principle *»' '' door arch ' 

Shield I IVucfof thilf ^i,rl„uld"S sit of arms- 
over a 

over a f.^a to'make a thoroughjurvey of ^-p^^ ornament of the 

other s the fabnc^tejhiaj tii^y^oe.^.^l^ ^ ^^^^^ consulted 

" lXen%n the%resent i^ns^^^^^^^^^^ ^e^^^ quite clear the arms 

to the best ot 11^ ^l^J^"-^\^^^^^^^^ with stones are decorated 

on the 
were in 
with pa 

Tv knowledge, were 4— — ^ -- -"- 

. ^. TUK^n" to consult withktones are decorated 
h pa :Se, of\l>e"oc"l organisations iu- 
Th'errti'r'Sted n; P'-f-Caf'ueS!:" 

steps taken to 

wiLii pcj- either 01 vue iw^^. ^-o material 

Ther terested in P^;^^^;;;^;'^^^! heritage. fragments of ancient 
work eqr-"il".;"l,%erhai>^sbecuu^^^^^^^^^ to be hoped, they 

may be 5^fi'\f7J'?nd would continue to doipie IS of such great 
interest ^^0 lu the future. The point of any U^^,^^ ^^^^ ^^^^^^^_ 

tion. rt,rf ;?th^\he ^ twelve 

The ^^■mollths\;a public-spin^^^^^^^ be recommended 

to studenAut^-^f j^,,,^ents Advisory Com- it is interesting in 
itself and -^ttee and allocate^^^^^^^^^ while, if the draw- 

ings madeto 1^ „„+<, ecord, a service will 


nients are important P^^^J^^^ ^i^oi 
their cultural value i^^^^^^ry': 
utt important tourist centres. 
Yours faithfully, 

.. Dept. of Archaeology, 
a U.C.G., 17th Dec., 1947. 







an anxious closing quarter when t 
losers rallied spiritedly. 

Outstandiug for St. Mary's -whc 
slow start probably cost them t 
title, was a sparklintr quartette 
Fahy, Brennau, Torpey aqd Con 

Conditions militated asainst a hi 

scoring- game and the winners, at' 

rattling in their second goal, were C( 

tent to resort to defensive tactics. >. 

,A. Derivan, N.T., refereed. 




Leinster ... 16 pts.; Connacht ... 5 pts. 

/^ONNACHT put up a gallant defence 
against a heavier and more 
finished Leinster side in the schools 
inter-provincial rugby test at Ballina- 
sloe last Thursday. 

Although Leinster won (16 points 
to 5) the Connacht hoys had them on 
the run for threequarters of the play, 
and it was onlj- in the last fifteen 
minv\tes that the visitor.'* got on top. 

The home team, which included over 
a dozen from St. .Joseph's, Garbally, 
gave a really fine display, and 
although they lost most of the scrums, 
their team combination and under- 
standing was a big asset throughout 
the play. Connacht made an early 
raid on the Leinster line, and kept the 
ball in their opponents 25, until 
Jackson (Galway G.S.) went over the 
line, Lyons (Garbally) added the 

The home-side held that lead almost 
to the end of the half, despite some 
fine spectacular bursts of speed by 
the Leinster boys. 

Galway's light backs gave an open- 
ing to their heavier and speedier op- 
ponents near the end of the half 
when Gilvarrj' had a penalty goal, to 
leave the scores: Connacht, 1 goal (5 
points) ; Leinster. 1 penalty (3 points). 

Half-way through the second 
half. McGarry (Leinster) was tripped 
up on the line and awarded a penalty 
try and Gilvarry added the points. 
Leinster had two further tries, one 
converted, to leave the final scores: 
Connacht, 5 points; Leinster, 16 

Connacht — .T. O'Donoghue. St. 
Joseph's, Ballinasloe; S. Ijyons, do.; 
S. Flynn, do. ; P. Kilcommons, do. ; 
G. Mitchell, do.; D. O'Brien, do.; N. 
Nally, S. Bri.scoe, do.; E. Tierney, do.; 
O. Dignan. do.; T. Notley (Sligo) : T. 
Black, do.; J. Jackson, Galway Q.S. 



. . . iUST RUB ON 








[ i69 ] 

Doorway and Window 

St. Augustine Street 

By H. G. LEASK, M.R.I. A. 

This interesting example of the architecture of the sixteenth 
century in Ireland has been illustrated before in a small 
engraving published in Wilkinson's Practical Geology and 
Ancient Architecture of Ireland (London : J. Murray , 1845, 
p. 158). This illustration though excellent in its way is very 
small and fails to do more than suggest the remarkable com- 
plexity of the ornament. It has seemed desirable, therefore, 
to publish a measured drawing to a larger scale. 

The details are characteristic of the work of the period 
in Ireland in combining late Gothic forms with classic mould- 
ings — ovolos and cymas — and Celtic interlacements. The 
conventionalized vine leaf of the lozenge and squared form 
also plays a large part in the ornament. 

In the right hand spandril of the door arch is a small 
shield bearing the date 1577 while a coat of arms — a chevron 
over a grille of some kind — is the principal ornament of the 
other spandril. Mr. T. U. Sadleir, whom I have consulted 
on the matter, informs me that "it is quite clear the arms 
were intended for Athy." The jamb stones are decorated 
with panels of plain punching. 

There are in the City of Galway many fragments of ancient 
work equally worthy of study and, it is to be hoped, they 
may be recorded adequately. This example is of such great 
interest and beauty that it should be preserved from destruc- 

The work of measurement is specially to be recommended 
to students of courses in architecture ; it is interesting in 
itself and of practical value to the student, while, if the draw- 
ings made are published or placed upon record, a service will 
be done to the antiquarian, 


Some Documents relating to 


Edited by M. D. 0' SULLIVAN, M.A., F.R.Hist.S. 

The first document is from the collection of the Carew MSS 
preserved in Lambeth Palace Library, London, where it is 
to be found under Vol. 597, p. 103^. This very interesting 
MS. is a statement of certain Privileges granted on the 9 
March, 1578, by Sir Henry Sydney, Lord Deputy, to the 
City of Galway, and renewed by Sir William Pelham, Lord 
Justice, at Galway, on the 9 November, 1579. 

In March 1576 Sydnej' visited Galway which was then 
suffering severely from the depredations of the two sons of 
the Earl of Clanricarde who for years past had been in open 
revolt against the English regime in the West. The Lord 
Deputy has left us a graphic description of the conditions 
which he found obtaining in the town at the time, conditions 
which led him to make the present proposals in the hope that 
they might effect a general improvement in the situation. 
Writing to the Lords of the Council on the 28 April, 1576, 
he first tells how he was, as far as the citizens in their present 
impoverished state could do it, honourably received and 
entertained, but then he goes on to say that he found " the 
towne of Galway moche decaied, both in number of expert 
sage men of years, and younger men of warre, in respect of 
that I have scene ; w^hich great decay hath growen thorough 
the horrible spoyle donne upon theim by the sonnes of the 
Earle of Clanrickard, in so moche as it was evidentlye proved 
before me, that fiftie howseholders of that towne doe nowe 
enhabite under Mac William Croghter. And it seemeth, they 
have not onelye lost their wealth, but with it their wittes and 
hartes ; surelye it may well seme they were in pointe to have 
geven up all, and almost to have forgotten that they received 
any corporacion of the Crown ; but I trust they are now 


revived, and I hope on the mending hande."* Clearly, Galway 
was in a wretched and famished state. Its trade was largely 
at a standstill, because the surrounding district whence it 
drew its supplies and the bulk of its exports was desolated 
b}' the sons of Clanricarde, while the town itself was repeatedly 
subject to attack by the rebels. The Lord Deputy, therefore, 
felt it his duty to take immediate action to save Galway, 
not only out of pity for the beleaguered inhabitants, but also 
in the interests of the Crown in the West, hence the proposals 
embodied in the following document. f 

By the Deputie and Counsel! 

Hen. Sydney 

The copie of certain priviledges graunted by Sir Henry Sidnye 
lord Deputie to the Cittie of Galway, And renued by Sir 
William Pelham lord Justice. 

9 November 1579 

Upon our repaire into theis partes cheifiie for the administration 
of Justice, and to take viewe, and make reporte of the desolate, 
and waste, province of Conaught, the Ruins wherof are now 
lamentable to behould, then redie means can be devised by us, 
how to redresse their greefes (a case of all good subjects to 
be pitied). We finde emongste these pitifuU ruins this her 
Majesties Towne of Galwaie, beinge nowe the onlie hope, and 
fortrese of her highnesses possessions in the whole province 
of Conaught, of late so shaken, decaied, and impovrished 
throughe the Mallice of the ill-disposed neighbours, environed, 
and planted on cache side aboute them ; Who should in 
reason yf they had any fellinge of their duties, or disposition 
to goodness rather preserve the Towne, then by hostilitie 
and armes seeke to overthrowe it, as they most barbarouslie 

* Collins : Sydney Letters and Memorials, I, p. 105. The householders 
who now quitted Galway for County Mayo were, according to Hardiman, 
the founders of those families bearing " Tribe " names, such as Blakes, 
Brownes, Kirwins, Lynches, etc., who afterwards became prominent as 
landed gentry in that county. See History of Galway, p. 86, note. 

f It seems remarkable that a document of such importance as this 
should have escaped the notice of Hardiman. He makes no reference to it 


have done. So that we eamestlie moved by the greate disaster, 
we find in this province, and spetiallie of the state of this towne, 
to take some present commiseration of their lamentable 
condition, havinge of late bine so manny waies charged and 
opressed. And like, as for theire helpe we meane to be inter- 
cessours, to her Majestic and humblie beseche that it will 
please her. to best owe some token of her princehe, and gracious 
favour, as well for the enlargement of the liberties of the 
towne as to graunte the Corporation some releife to be issued, 
out of her o\\"ne Revenewes and Threasurie :* Even so for our 
o\Mie partes desirous to do them good, and to Comforte the 
Corporation, A\ith some signification of our good willes, as 
fare forthe, as convenientlie we male, Havinge accordinge to 
the requester of their petitions, and at their spetiall sute, 
renewede and conlirmed them certain articles graunted unto 
them as well by the lord Leonord Graie, As also by Sir Anthonie 
Sentleger, in the twines of their deputations in forme as follow- 

tochinge their privilege for Supenas. 

First we order, and decree that no Writte of Supena, 
or atachement shalbe warned out of the Chauncerie 
againste eny enhabitaunte of Galwaie, untill such t\Tne, 
as he that sueth for the Writte put in sieurtis before the 
lord Chauncellor or the lord keper of the greatt seall for 

• Within a year Elizabeth so far acceded to Sydney's request for some 
practical recognition of the loyalty- of Galway as to grant a most comprehen- 
sive charter to the to\\'n. See Morrin : Cal. Pat. Rolls, II, pp. 4-10, where 
the date of the charter is given as the 14 July, 1578 ; also Hardiman : Hist, 
of Galway, App. pp. \'i-xx\-i, where the charter is translated at length and is 
dated the 14 July, 1579. EUzabeth also added considerably to the to\^Ti's 
revenues, for she granted the Corporation a lease in reversion of the possessions 
spiritual and temporsd of the late dissolved reUgious houses of St. Francis, 
St. Augustine, and St. Dominic, adjoining the town of Galway, already 
leased to the town at /3.8.3, the fishing of Galway, the cocket of Galway, 
paying such rents as were then charged on the premises ; and a lease in 
reversion of lands to the amount of 100 marks Enghsh Ij'ing near the towne 
(See Fiants. Eliz.. Xos. 1499, 2859, 3465 ; also Morrin : Cal. Pat. Rolls. 
II, p. 14. For a hst of the lands referred to as " h"ing near the to\^-n " see 
Fiants, Eliz., No. 3463. Many of them had pre\'iously been in the possession 
of the Earl of Clanricarde. 

■^ From this it would seem that the privileges now granted to Galway 
were in some measure a confirmation of similar privileges granted by the 
pre\ious Lord Deputies, Lord Leonard Grey, who \-isited the town in 1538, 
and Sir .Anthony St. Leger who came in 1543. 


the tyme beinge or els before the Maior of Gallwaie for the 
t\Tne beinge, to prosequute the sute with effecte. And to paie 
to the defendaunts such costes and demaundes as the Courte 
of Chauncerie will awarde, \'f the matter sheall pass againste 
him, by decree, or order of the Courte (in all actions and causes 
but the Ouenes onlie) And yi the surties be put in before the 
Maiore he that putteth in the surties shall bringe certificate 
from the Maiore testifienge the same, and yf the surties be 
put in before the lord Chauncellour, or lord keper of the greate 
seall for the t\Tne beinge, then ther shalbe a clause contained 
in the write, or written upon the lable of the same Writte, 
expressinge the findinge of the sieuties in the Chauncerie. 

No offices or newe ofl&cer to be erected by the governeres in 

Item we order and decree, that no newe officer, or office shalbe 
erected in the Towne of Galwaie, by eny deputie, or other 
governour of this realme for the tyme beinge, other\vi5e then 
in t\Tnes past they have used to do (excepte the creation of 
such newe officers, or office, be firste, resolved uppon and 
established by acte of parhament), for the better avoid- 
inge of the inquietinge, and disturbinge of merchaunt 
Straungers, wherbie theie might have occasion to withdrawe 
the concours and trade of merchaundice that nowe use to 
trafique with the Towne of Galwaie, To the prejudice, and 
hinderaunce both of their pubhque and private commodities.* 

the maiore to graunte Protection. 

Item we order, and decree, that it shalbe la^^'full to the maior 

• This is an extremely interesting provision. The traditional independence 
of the to%^'n of Galway is here emphasized to the extent that no Lord Deputy" 
may create any new office \\"ithin the town except such office be instituted 
by an Act of Parhament. The pro\'i5ion seems intended specifically to protect 
the trade of Galwaj- possibly by not adding Customs officials and the hke 
to those already in existence. Galway was. except for the cocket of hides, 
free of Customs by its charter. Even the officials charged with the collection 
of the Cro\%"n revenues, such as they were, were extremely lax, with, the result 
that a great deal of contraband got through. Indeed, the to\>ra had been, 
for two centuries now \-irtually a free port, hence its attraction for foreign 
merchants. — Cal. Carew MSS., 1585, p. 400 ; Ibid., MisceU., pp. 467-68 ; 
Dunlop : Ireland under the Comynonnealih, I, p. xxxv. 


of Gahvaie for the tyme beinge, by thadvice of foure of the 
aldermen, or other foure discreet men of the towne in caces 
of necessitie, and for the Common profitt and commoditie of 
the Towne and the advauncement of her Majesties service, 
to graunte saveconducte, and protection aswell to EngUsh 
Rebelles, as Irishe enemis, or enny other forrainer for all manner 
of Causes (onlie treasone to her Majesties persone excepted) 
for their free, and safe cominge to the towne, remaninge 
in the towne, and retorninge homewardes from the Towne, 
at their wills, and pleasures. So that within XXtie dales next 
after eny such protection graunted, they Certifie to us the 
lord deputie, or to the governour for the tyme beinge, the 
Name or names of the parsons protected, by them the tyme 
of the continewauncc of their protections, and the Causes 
whie they be protected. 

that the merchaunts that bringe waris on credit or penny 
bargans shalbe bound to deale well with strangers. 

Item where the said maior Bailifes, and inhabitauntes feele 
them selves greeved, that divers tymes certaine insufficient 
persons, lackinge habilitie to parfourme their bargains, do 
bringe shippes laden with Marchandize from partes beyonde 
the Seas, upon their Credittes and penny bargains, and after 
the unladinge, and discharging of the Marchaundize, do 
contende with the marchaunt straungers to defeite them of 
their duties, by means wherof divers suche marchaunte 
straungers who have felte the smarte therof, growe wearie 
of suche fine, and unplaine kind of dealinge, and withdrawe 
their trade, and concours, to the said towne, to the greatt 
prejudice of the same. It is therefore decreede and ordered by 
us, that when eny such machaunte shall bringe eny Shipp 
with marchandize to the River of the same towne, upon his 
credit t, or such penny bargaine, that before the bringinge on 
land of eny parsell of the said marchaundice, the said mar- 
chaunte bringer of the same upon his creditt shall fynde suffi- 
cient surties, before the Maiore, and bailifes of Galwaie for the 
tyme beinge that he shall well and trulie make paiement to the 
Marchaunt Straungers for his dutie, and accomplishe every 


parte of his bargaine Justelie, and uprightlie without any 
fraude, Covent, collore or deceipte.* 

None to speake oprobrius wordes to the maior. 

Item we order and decree that yf eny parsone of thenhabi- 
tauntes of that towne, do use undeasaunte wordes, to the 
Maiore, Baihfes or eny other honest personne, that either 
beareth, or hath borne office within the said towne, that it 
shalbe lawfull to the Maiore and baihfes for the tyme beinge, 
to take and leavie upon him, that useth such undecent speaches, 
a competent fine accordinge to the quahtie of the fault or 
offence, by advice of parte of the aldermen or three or foure, 
discreet personns.j 

to continue their old and auncient comendable custom, the 
chiefe oficer to use advise of the graver sorte of Aldermen. 

* The provision here set forth strengthened the hands of the Mayor and 
and Bailiffs in dealing with a situation which arose from time to time and 
which the Corporation itself in its statutes had already attempted to meet. 
Cf, a statute under date 1538 as follows : 

" It ys ordered, edicted, statutid, and established for ever, that what- 
soever person or persons, merchant or [merjchauntes, of this town shall 
or will make anny bargayn or contract in Spayne, Fraunce, or anny 
other landes for wyne, salt, yerne or anny other kynd of warrs shall afor 
he put the said shipe or warres so brought by him or them to this town 
in booke or costome, fynde to the Mayor and officers of the same sufficient 
and substantiall surties that he or they shall well and truly contente and 
pay the stranger of his payment, for the discharge and credid of the town 
and enhabitaunc theroff." — Corp. MSS., Bk. A., fol. 43. 

t An enactment on these terms is found in the Corporation statutes under 
1525. It reads : 

" It is ordered, by the whole assent of the Counsaill, that whatsoever 
person or persons speackith anny yngerous and sclanderos worde or checke 
to the Mayor, to forfaite an hundrid shillinges, and his body to be put 
in prison. Likewise, if any man shulde saye any sclanderous worde to 
the Baylevis, to forfaite fiftye shillinges. Also, if anny man shuld misuse 
or sclander by wordes anny of thos that hath bene Mayors, to forfaite 
to them xxvi. s. viii. d. And if any man shuld sclander or cheke these 
that hath bene Bailieves, to forfite to them xiii. s. iiii. d." — Corp. MSS., 
Bk. A., fol. 31. 

The fact, however, that a Statute on these lines had to be regularly re- 
enacted — the fines were doubled in amount in 1625 — Ibid., fol. [144J — shows 
that towards the end of the sixteenth century and during the first half of the 
seventeenth the old-time reverence for the Mayor and his colleagues was 
showing signs of weakening, the change being due, no doubt, to the gradual 
leavening of the town's population with an Irish element from outside. 


Item we order, and decree that the said maiore bailifes, and 
inhabitaintcs maie use, and exercise, all their auncient cus- 
tomes, and lawdable usages, suche as are by Godes lawes, 
and her Majesties allowable, and that the Maiore or his deputie, 
or principall magistratt in his absence in all weightie causes, 
and spectiallie in thadministration of Justice, shalbe advised 
and counsailed, by certaine of the moste saged and indifferent 
persons of his bretherne, and not wade alone in thinges of 
suche consequence.* 

No fee or Sentence to be taken, In irish called Oligeth. 

Item we do order and decree, that what so ever enny parsone 
shall recover in any action, or demaund within the said towne, 
that the partie condemned shall paie all reasonable costes, 
and damagis. And that the maiore and bailifes shall take no 
fee of Sentaunce Called in Irishe Oleigeth for eny Judgment 
or recoverie, in eny wise uppon paine to dubble the vallewe of 
the said fee or sentance so taken. | 

The dead bodies to be buried without the walles of their toune. 

* In the charter of Richard III to Galway it had been stipulated that 
the Mayor and Baihffs alone should be judges in all Civil and Criminal cases 
but, apparently, that practice had suffered in the course of time, for according 
to Henry VIII in his Ordinances for Galway, 1536, — 67. Pap. Irel. Hen. VIII, 
III, p. 17, — certain young commoners had " of obstinancy presumed to add 
their voices in such suits and judgments," with the result that the law was 
no longer impartially administered and much dissatisfaction prevailed. To 
remedy this state of affairs the King ordered that henceforth the INIayor and 
Bailiffs should select four Aldermen to act with them as Justices in all cases, 
and from their judgment appeal was to lie only to the Lord Deputy and 
Council. Sir Henry Sidney now in 1578 seeks to confirm this procedure. 

t The law administered in the town of Galway was the Common Law of 
England, but there is evidence in the Corpoyation MSS. that, as the years 
passed, the Brehon law of the natives was not without exerting some influence 
upon practice and procedure, a view which is to some degree confirmed by 
the very fact that the Lord Deputy here in 1578 found it necessary to stipulate 
that in the administration of justice the judge shall not take any fee of sen- 
tence in the Irish manner. 

I have to thank Professor Thurneyesen of Bonn, the distinguished authority 
on the Brehon Laws, for a note on the term oligeth which he was kind enough 
to send to my colleague. Professor Kathleen Mulchrone, for my use on this 
occasion. Professor Thurneyesen writes : 


Finallie it is assented, and agreed unto by the Maior bailifes, and 
burgaces with the concent of the whole corporation of the towne 
of Galwaie, that in respecte of the often repaire, and aboad 
here of us the Lord Ueputie, or other governour for the tyme 
beinge, and the residencie of the president of this province of 
Connaught within the towne. When occasion of service requir- 
eth, that for the better, avoidinge of annoyaunce (and that 
which otherwise yf it be not privided for) might bread 
offence to the lord deputie, and others, by buriall of their 
dead bodies in the Churche and Churche yeard within the 
Towne, That they will henceforte take publique, order emonges 
themselves, and dulie observe the same for the buriall of their 
dead, that the dead bodies shalbe buried in the abbies, and 
religious howses, without the walles of their towne, as places 
most apt, & spectiallie reserved for such purpose of their 
common buriall, Wherbie both the Corrupte Aire of the dead 
bodies (which maie bread unholsomnes and infection to the 
towne), might be better avoided and the Towne more, orderli, 
and swetelie kept to the good contentation of us the lord 
deputie when we shall have occasion to repaire hether, the 
lord president of the province or the governour that shalbe. 

" Oligeth, oleigeth, anderwarts oylegeag, ist englische Schreibung fiir 
ir. oile-dheag, m. ir. aile dec, das in l^echts-Kommentaren und Glossen 
oft erwahnte Zwolftel, das der Richter als seine Gebiihr beim Prozesse 
einzog. Vgl. Thomas O'Rahilly, Irish Poets, etc., p. 115, par. 58." 

O'Rahilly in the work indicated by Professor Thurneyesen : Proc. R.I. A., 
Vol. XXXVI, Sect. C, No. 6 : referring to the use of Brehon law among the 
Anglo-Irish, says : " A jury of the city of Waterford in the same year (1537) 
finds that Lady Katherine Butler, widow of Lord Power, ' hath ordeyned 
an Irishe judge called Shane McClannaghe [Sean Mag Fhlannchadha], and 
that the said Shane useth Brehens lawe and ordreth the matters of variaunce 
of the countie moche after her will and commaundement, and taketh for 
th'use of his judgement called Oylegeag [oile-dheag] xvi^. stg. of every 
mark stg. and taketh as moche of the playntif as of the deft.' 

Despite the efforts of Sydney, however, the administration of justice in 
Galway seems to have continued unsatisfactory from the English point of 
view with the result that on the 11 July, 1588, Elizabeth issued instructions 
to have the whole thing overhauled and the law administered in Galway as 
" in the Court and Tolsell of Dublin used, and not otherwise." — 5/. Pap. 
Irel. Eliz., Vol. 135, No. 80, P.R.O., London. To help to achieve this purpose 
Elizabeth then appointed a man " of knowledge and experience of the laws 
of this realm to be named Recorder " to be continually resident in Galway. 
The first occupant of this office was Dominick Martin. — See Cal. St. Pap. 
Irel. Eliz., Vol. CXLIV, p. 173. 


Yeven at the said towne of Galwaie the 9 Marche 1577 (-8).* 

H. Miden. Edw. Fitton : Lucas Dillon. 

The foresaid Articles were by Sir William Pelham lord Justice 
of Irland, and Counsell confirmed to the said toune of Galwaie 
the 9 November 1579. 

By the lord Justice and Counsell. 

The Confirmation 

William Pelham. 

Uppon our repaire into these partes, and province of Con- 
naught, for the administration of Justice, And for the better 
maintenaunce and furtheraunce of this her Majesties towne 
of Galwaie, And for divers other good considerations us 
movinge. And for the good opinion we conceive of the Maiore 
aldermen, and bretherne of the same, and espetiall truste we 
repose in their fidilities, and upright dealinge. We therefore do 
ratifie, and confirme, all and singuler the contentes, and articles 
within written, in as large and ample manner, as the same was 
graunted by Sir Henry Sydnie knight, late lord deputie and 
governour of this her highnes Realme of Irland. Yeven at 
Gallwaie the 9 November 1579. 

No : Malbie 

Ed : Waterhowse. 

The second document, an Address by the Merchants of 
Galway presented to Robert French, M.P., of Monivea, m 

♦Amongst the provisions of the Charter given by Edward VI to St. Nicholas' 
Collegiate Church in 1551 erecting it into " The Royal College of Galway," 
was one whereby the cemeteries of the three dissolved monasteries, all of 
them outside the city walls, were granted to the Church for the purpose of 
burials — from the earliest times when in the hands of their original owners 
they had served as burial grounds for Galway and its neighbourhood. Hardi- 
man writing in 1820, says : " Under this grant the wardens have ever since 
retained possession of these burial grounds, which they generally farmed out 
to undertakers." He adds : " It is said that the following families only have 
privilege of burial in the church, viz., the Lynches, D'Arcys, Brownes and 
Frenches : according to some the Kirwan family is also entitled, but, accord- 
ing to others, their claim has been always disputed." — Hist. 0/ Galway, p. 241, 


1762, has been made available to me through the kindness 
of Miss R. ffrench of Monivea Castle, Co. Galway. The MS. 
is one of a large number of family papers of the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries belonging to the ffrench family of 
Monivea which have been most carefully preserved and many 
of which throw interesting light on contemporary events in 
the town and county of Galway. 

Robert French, to whom the Address was presented, was 
M.P. for County Galway from 1753-1761, and for the town of 
Galway from 1 768-1 776. Hardiman refers to him at this 
time as "an active senator, and one of the most opulent 
and respectable of the descendants of the ancient Galway 
families."* It was but natural, therefore, that he should 
interest himself in the affairs of the merchants of Galway 
and lend his support to their petition to Parliament for the 
removal of disabilities under which they suffered at the hands 
of an unsympathetic Corporation. 

During the period following upon the Williamite settle- 
ment of Ireland the Roman Catholics generally were, of 
course, in a very depressed condition. In the particular case 
of Galway we find that anomaly which so long characterized 
English rule in Ireland, as a whole, namely, a Catholic majority 
governed by a small, alien, and Protestant minority. In 1762, 
for instance, it was stated in the House of Commons that 
the population of Galway amounted to 14,000 of whom only 
some 350 were Protestants, f Yet the governrnent of the town 
was vested in this handful of Protestants| who often exercised 
their authority to the detriment of the Catholic traders. For 
the fact is, that such trade as remained to Galway at this 
time was chiefly confined to Catholic merchants, the lineal 
descendants of the merchant adventurers of old, pre-Crom- 
wellian Galway. § Actually, the trade of the town had declined 
considerably in recent years. From 1754 to 1758, for example, 

* Hist, of Galway, p. 184. 

I Com. /oMr., Vol. VIII, quot. by Hardiman : Hist, of Galway, p. 183, note. 

j The few resident Protestants were " principally tradesmen and shop- 
keepers, the greater part of whom, according to their own showing, were 
without wealth, weight or consequence." — Hardiman : Op. cit., p. 187. 

§ After the Restoration many of the Tribe families petitioned the Crown 
to be allowed to return to Galway to pursue their craft of merchandize. — See 
MSB. of the Marquis of Ormonde, 1662-66.— Hist MSS. Com., Rep. 9. Pt, 
II, App. 


the merchants, despite their disabiUties, had fourteen or fifteen 
ships at sea ; but in 1762 there were only three or four vessels 
belonging to the town ; one only, laden with beef, cleared 
out during the entire year 1761 ; and another, freighted with 
butter, in 1762.* The merchants of Galway, indeed, were 
now so oppressed b^^ excessive charter-duties and other un- 
authorized exactions of the Corporation that many of them 
were driven out of business altogether. Those who remained 
decided in 1761 to present a petition to Parliament to seek 
redress from the disabilities under which they suffered. This 
statement was entitled " The petition of the merchants and 
inhabitants of the town of Galway, and the gentlemen, free- 
holders and farmers of the county of Galway, in behalf of 
themselves and others, the inhabitants of the said town and 
county," and the task of introducing it to the House of Com- 
mons was entrusted to Robert French, M.P., of Monivea. 

The petition consisted of a detailed statement of the 
illegal charges imposed by the Corporation on all goods entering 
or leaving the town, and in general it was a sweeping indictment 
of the policy of that body. The merchants complained that 
not only were excessive charter-duties levied, but toll-gatherers 
at the gates practised great extortion, the Custom house was 
allowed to go to ruin, the fishery which, if developed, could be 
made the finest in the kingdom, was neglected, the billeting 
of His Majesty's troops was being illegally and oppressively 
executed, farmers in the adjacent county were being driven 
to refuse to supph' the town with goods, prices were soaring 
intolerable^ and many inhabitants were quitting the town. 
It was even stated that the members of the Corporation were 
converting the town's revenues to their own private benefit. f 

Robert French did his work well and, after a searching 
investigation by a committee of the House, it was found in 
February 1762 that most of the complaints were justified. 
In the meantime the Corporation had offered the committee 
to accomodate all matters in dispute b}' adhering either to 
the schedule of duties contained in the charters or to the 
agreement made in 1684 with the merchants of the town. 
This offer having been rejected, the Corporation and Protestant 

* Com. Jour., Vol. VIII, quot. by Hardiman : Hist, of Galway, p. 183, note. 
•f For details of this petition see Hardiman : Ibid., pp. 184-85, 


inhabitants of Galway then presented a statement rebutting the 
charges made against them and setting forth their grievances 
against the CathoHc traders, who had the wealth of the town 
in their hands and, in consequence, were able to make the 
position of the indigent Protestants a difficult one. The 
upshot of all this was that, while the committee of the House 
refused to abolish the charter-duties, which was the principal 
demand of the merchants, an agreement was come to between 
the Corporation and the merchants whereby a new schedule 
of duties and customs was drawn up and was presented by 
Robert French to the House for confirmation. " Thus ended," 
says Hardiman, " a proceeding which, though not attended 
with all the success originally expected, yet had the effect of 
reforming the Corporation, and of putting an end to many 
practices which were theretofore prevalent, and which had 
proved so injurious to the interest of the town."* 

Throughout all these difficult proceedings the part played 
by Robert French was a generous and statesmanlike one 
and entirely worthy of the expression of gratitude set forth 
so happily in the following document. 

To Robert French of Munivae Esquire^ — 

The Hble Address of the Merchants, Traders and Other — 
Inhabitants of the Town of Galway 

We the Merchants, Traders, and other Inhabitants of the 
Town of Galway, filled with gratitude, for the many Advantages 
Obtained for us, by your wise & prudent Council in the late 
session of Parliament ; humbly take leave to wait upon you, 

to return our sincere & hearty thanks -The obligations we 

lye under to you for these favours, are the More Extraordinary, 
as they are unmerited on our parts ; nothing Cou'd have 
engaged you to obtain them for us, but your wise and Equi- 
table Spirit, your love of Justice, and the public good 

When we reflect on the difficulties you had to encounter, 
the Opposition given to your equitable resolutions, framed to 
restore us to Liberty & trade ; We are lost in Amaze"' ! But 
when we consider your Unwearied Diligence, unprecedented 

* Hist, of Galway, p. 187. 


Zeal and powerful talents, Representing your Countries Wrongs, 

our Wonder ceases. 

We Feel with Joy, the Glory which redounds to you, from 
the Universal approbation of your Conduct in Parliament ; 
and tho we Envy the Borrough, which receives Such honour 
from its representative. Yet wish it the longest continuance 
thereof ; Happy remote Borrough ! 

The Disinterested part you Acted in our behalf, the Redress 
you have procured for our Grievances, the Aid and Protection 
you have Obtain'd for our Merchandize, our trade & our 
Fishery : have impress' d On our hearts, the deepest Sense of 
Gratitude, and demand from us The Loudest proclamations 
thereof. Please therefore to Accept this Address, as a tender 
of our Unfeign'd Respect & Regard for you ; & thus Recom- 
mending our Selves to your future Protection, We beg leave, 

to Subscribe ourselves 

Your most Obliged 
and most Devoted 
Hble Servants 

Fran'^ Lynch 
Mar. Lynch 
Rob. Lynch 
Fran'^ Burke 
Anth^ Morris 
Mich' Nolan 
Pat'' Morris 
Ulick Lynott 
Thom Kirwan 
Mark French 
John Burke Jn. 
Matthew Browne 
Alexander Lynch 
Charles Fallon 
Pat Lynch 
Charles Browne 
Aug" Browne 
James Lynch Henry 
Edmond Kirwan 
Mark Lynch 

Jn° & And. French 
Patrick Naughton 
John Kirwan [ ] 
Anth. French Gn. 
And''' Lynch Henry 
Tames Ouin 
Anth^ French Carb" 
Mark French 
Nich' Nolan 
Chas. Geoghegan 
John Kirwan Anth 
Antho ffrench 
Mich' & Edm'^ Burke 
John ffrench : Jn. 
Thos Bodkin 
Pat*" L3mch Jno 
Tho. Comyns 
Robt Broughlon 
Rog*^ Clancy 
Robt French Jn, 

[ i83 ] 

A Letter from Roderic OTIaherty 
to William Molyneux 

29 Jan. 1697 


The following letter is printed from the holograph now pre- 
served in the National Library of Ireland. It was formerly 
in the Monck Mason collection [Monck Mason Sale Catalogue, 
Lot No. 509) whence it passed into the possession of Sir Thomas 
Phillipps [Phillipps 35137, pt.). It was purchased by the 
National Library in 1936. I have to thank the Trustees and 
Director of the Library for their kind permission to publish it. 

The writer, Roderic O' Flaherty, hardly needs an}^ intro- 
duction. He was born in 1629 at Moycullen Castle, Co. Galway, 
the residence of his father, Hugh O'Flaherty, head of the 
O'Flaherties of Gnomore and Gnobeg. On Hugh's death in 
1631 Roderic became a ward of the Crown. He was educated 
at Alexander Ljmch's famous school in Galw^ay city, where, 
according to Gilbert,* he made the acquaintance of John 
Lynch (c. 1600 - c. 1673; author of Cambrensis Eversus), 
Bishop Kirwan of Killala (1589-1661), and the great Capuchin 
Francis Brown. The same writer also states that he studied 
history and Irish literature under the renowned Dubhaltach 
Mac Firbhisigh (i 585-1670) then residing at St. Nicholas', 
Galway, where he wrote much of his famous Craobha Coibhneasa. 
The Cromwellian confiscation deprived Roderic of most of his 
patrimony, and the portion to which he was restored in 1653 
was of little value. In 1677 he recovered a further portion. 

O'Flaherty's most famous work, Ogygia, sen rerum Hiber- 
nicarum chronologia, published in London in 1685, was the 
first scholarly presentation of Irish history to the English 
public. His Ogygia vindicated against the objections of Sir 
George Mackenzie was not published till 1775 (Dublin), wh^le 

* Pictionary Nat. Biography. 



his Chorographical description of West or H-Iar Connaught 
had to wait until 1846 for publication. 

In his declining years O' Flaherty was sorely harrassed 
by poverty. Sir Thomas Molyneux's description of the con- 
dition in which he found him in his house at Parke, Co. Galway, 
is too well known to be repeated here. He died at Parke on 
April 8th, 1718, and there he rests. 

William Molyneux ' whom Locke was proud to call his 
friend ' was born in Dublin in 1656. The author of various 
works including Dioptrica Nova, Sciothericiim Telescopicum, 
and an English version of Descartes' Meditations, his real 
claim to a place in Irish history rests on his famous The case 
of Ireland being bound by Acts of Parliament in England stated 
which appeared in 1698. In 1682 he undertook the collection 
of materials for a Description of Ireland (never published) 
intended for Moses Pitt's Atlas. It was in connection with 
this undertaking that he made the acquaintance of Roderic 
O'Flaherty. He died in 1698. 

Juan Luis Vives, Spanish humanist and philosopher, was 
born in Valencia in 1492. He studied in Paris and elsewhere, 
and was for a time professor in Louvain. In 1523 he was 
attached to Corpus Christi College, Oxford. His defence of 
Catherine of Aragon led to his arrest and banishment, and he 
spent most of the rest of his life at Bruges, where he died in 
1540. He was a prolific and very successful writer, concerning 
himself principally with works of devotion, education, political 
economy, and philosophy. These included In pseudo dialec- 
ticos (1519), De institntione feminae Christianae (1523), Intro- 
ductio ad sapientiam (1524) De subventione pauper urn (1526), 
De disciplinis (1531), De communione rerum (1535), Exercitatio 
linguae Latinae (1538), and Ad animi exercitationem in Detim 
commentatiunculae. His comm.entary on St. Augustine's De 
civitate Dei published in 1522 was written under the influence 
of Erasmus, with whom he was associated at Louvain. An 
English translation appeared in 1610. 

O'Flaherty's letter reads : 
To William Moljmeux Esqr. 
one of ye Masters of his 

Maty's High Court of Chancery 



In answer of yrs of ye 23rd Instant ; the steep round 
towers yu write of are certainly known by ye name imposed 
on 'em what they were designed for ; which is claictheach 
.i. clock house, or belfry for calling the people to ye service 
of ye adjacent church by ringing of bell : other contingent 
uses were of h ; as for watchmen to look about ym on ye top, 
& to give alarm : & for goods to be there kept upon Incursions 
of Enemies, ye steeples within churches, & abbeyes are in 
like manner called cloctheaghais .i. belcase ; as yu say staire 

Of ye vast kind of Deeres I know nothing as yet, but will 
enquire. There are large horns of a deere kept for a monument 
in my Lord of Clanrickard's house of Portomny, found in a 
bog hard by : & ye more they are looked upon for admiracon, 
that they are of ye kind of fallow Deeres. Had I known more, 
you may not doubt of my willingness to content you. 

I thought to meete one going thither this term, yt wd 
bring yu what I writ of ye work for my Ld Bp ; & since I 
did not, I send here inclosed .2. sheets, & so I intend to send 
.2. or more by everie post hereafter, as soon as I have yur 
orders com to me, of what to doe therein, ffor I write in an 
open place, & common roome for all comers & goers ; & must 
put up my papers severall times a day : a sheet a day is ye 
most I write ; so yt I wd be glade to haue 'em out of my hands 
with yu as many sheets, as I write. 

I desire yu prevaile wth som body at leasure to enquire 
in S. Aug: De Civitate Dei (I cannot have ye book here) 
in ye first book about ye middle (that wth Ludov : Vives his 
exposition upon, was ye book I had) a passage of ye Magicians 
of Egypt their predictions of ye light of ye Gospell, & their 
own ruin ; it is short enough to be transcribed, & transmitted 
to me : for which I left a blank in ye work being as agreable 
with ye like of our druids upon ye coming of S. Patrick as can 

My humble service to my Ld Bp ever pnted ; I am 

Yr own faithfull servt 

R O Flaherty. 
Galway gaol 29. Ja : 1697 



A History of Medieval Ireland from 1086 to 1513. By Edmund Curtis, M.A., 
Litt. D. London : Methuen. 15/- net. 

Professor Curtis's Hislorv of Medieval Ireland was first published in 1923. 
Its appearance was greeted by scholars as marking a definite advance on the 
only other work of the kind dealing with medieval Ireland, namely. Dr. 
Goddard Orpen's Ireland under the Normans. As a pioneer in research into 
this period of Irish history. Dr. Orpen, no doubt, made a notable achieve- 
ment, but he stopped short at the year 1333, and, throughout, he wrote 
mainly from the point of view of the Norman col )nist. Professor Curtis, on 
the other hand, carried his researches nearly two centuries further, and, 
equipped with an efficient command of the Irish language, succeeded in 
presenting the native side with a sympathy and understanding for which 
we look in vain in the work of his predecessor. Thus he not only traced the 
main course of political history, but, as he said himself, devoted much space 
to institutions, political and social, of the Anglo-Irish and Irish, and to the 
languages and culture of the races of medieval Ireland. The result was that 
the History of Medieval Ireland became a valued text-book for the study of 
Irish history in a period which till then had been largely neglected. 

For some years past, however, the first edition of Professor Curtis's work 
has been out of print and this consideration, coupled with the fact that during 
the last fifteen years Professor Curtis himself and other scholars also have 
made continuous researches into this particular period of Irish history, 
seemed to indicate the desirability of issuing a new edition. The present 
work is, therefore, most timely and welcome. In it Professor Curtis has, as 
he tells us, completely revised, recast, and, indeed, practically rewritten the 
original History of Medieval Ireland, and, on the whole, his claim is fully 
justified. Much new material has been incorporated and many things revised. 
The use of sub-titles also is a distinct improvement, while not the least valu- 
able part of the work is the series of admirable appendices, the first of 
which gives us genealogical tables of some twenty of the chief dynastic or 
feudal families, Gaelic and Norman of medieval Ireland, while the others 
deal with three obscure subjects, namely (a) the Ostmen, or hibernicized Norse 
settlers in Ireland, (6) the towns of medieval Ireland, and (c) the legal treat- 
ment of the native Irish, whether free or villeins (betaghs) by the Dublin 
government and the Anglo-Norman colonists during the whole period. But 
where there is so much advance surely it is a matter of regret to learn from 
Professor Curtis that " much of the detailed information and some of the 
longer footnotes of my first edition are not reproduced in extenso : the 
enquiring reader is referred back to the pages of that book." The result 
of this unusual decision is that the historical student is put to the serious 
inconvenience of having to work with the two editions at once — a most 
unsatisfactory and difficult procedure. In every other respect, however, the 
new edition is an excellent one and a distinct contribution to scholarship. 
It will certainly remain for a long time to come the standard work on medieval 
Ireland. M. D. O'S. 

History of Ballymote and the Parish of Emlaghfad. By James Christopher 
MacDonagh, B.Comm., Cert. A. LB. (Ireland). Printed by The Champion 
Publications, Ltd., Shgo, 1936 (published 1939), pp. 205. 

County Sligo was for long the borderland between two areas the inhabi- 
tants of which, whatever were the changes which occurred in Irish history, 
seemed destined to be hostile. In the far off days of the Tain the expanding 


state of the Kings of Connacht found a permanent rival in the poHty of 
Ulster. When the O Donnells set up their suzerainty over the tuatha of Tir 
Conaill they claimed allegiance also from Lower Connacht and fell foul of 
the O Connors in that respect. Later, the Mayo Burkes too, having robbed 
the O Connors of much of their power, found themselves committed to enmity 
with the \N'est Ulstermen, and indeed much of the activity of Hugh Ruadh 
O Donnell in the Nine Years War may be looked upon as a campaign to drive 
the English out of Co. Sligo. 

If the barony of Carbury and the way south by Benbulben and Sligo 
castle was a veritable battle ground for Ulster and Connacht men long before 
Hugh Ruadh's day, Corran, and particularly Ballymote with its castle, was 
none the less a centre of strategic importance. The way to the rich Ros- 
common plains on the one hand and to Mayo on the other lay through Corran. 

From these political and military viewpoints, and none the less archaeo- 
logically and in so far as social and cultural history is concerned, the barony 
of Corran provides a rich field for intensive study. Archaeologically it falls 
within that most interesting area where, in the megalithic period, the builders 
of the horned cairns coming from the north seem to have met those of the 
chambered cairns arriving from the south-east. The historian who concerns 
himself with cultural and literary development is none the less interested in 
Ballymote as the scene of the labours of Manus O Duignan. Here this cele- 
brated scholar produced while working under the patronage of Mac Donagh, 
Lord of the area, about 1391 the collection of historical, poetical and legal 
compilations which takes its name from the township. 

Mr. Mac Donagh has undoubtedly chosen an important area for his 
study, and his book is a welcome addition to the unfortunately small number 
of local historical works which are up to the present available. Commencing 
with the legendary period, he traces the history of Ballymote and Emlagh- 
fad, an area practically coextensive with the barony of Corran, to modern 
times. If he is here and there led from the strict paths of serious historical 
research by a desire to quote from sources, he is at least always entertaining, 
and his book should prove particularly interesting to those who know the 
country of which he writes. He has certainly not omitted any occurrences 
of note which fall to be recorded within the history of the area and his work 
as a whole gives evidence not only of much painstaking endeavour, but of 
days gladly spent in unfolding the story of his native place. 

It is a pity that he has not supplied some maps ; and his book would 
have benefitted by an index and by a httle more care on the part of his printer. 
It should be a handy pocket companion for the tourist in the area and a good 
guide for the Sligo teachers of regional history. 


Records of Four Tipperary Septs, the 0' Kennedys, O'Dwyers, O'Mulryans, 
O'Meaghers. By Martin Callanan, L.R.C.P. & S.I. Galway : O'Gorman 
Ltd., Printinghouse, 1938. pp. 180. 7/6 Net. 

Dr. Callanan has adopted in this book a method of approach to the study 
of historic regional groups which is often productive of valuable results. He 
treats each of the four famihes with which his study is concerned separately. 
Under each family heading he gives, first, a pedigree, then a hst, annahstically 
arranged, of all the references to members of the family which he has been 
able to obtain, next a collection of similar references drawn from fiants, from 
letters patent, inquisitions, wills and similar documents, and, finally, the 
relevant entries from the Books of Survey and Distribution to show the lands 
held by the families in 1641. There are some further notices and hsts, but 
the bulk of his book is made up in this manner. 

In his Introduction and here and there in his text he introduces what 
might be termed general accounts of the four famiUes, but such generalities 
9,re always brief, and on the whole he has adhered closely to the terms o^ 


reference of his title and has produced rather the material for a history than 
a history proper. When the ground has been covered carefully from primary 
sources, as is the case here, such labour is well worth while. Dr. Callanan's 
book should be of particular interest to those who would otherwise find 
difficulty in gaining access to source material, but he would have added to 
its value in this connection if he had indicated in each case the exact source 
of his references. He has no index. 

The publication of these two books, Mr. Mac Donagh's on Sligo and Dr. 
Callanan's on Tipperary, should assist the teaching of regional history in the 
areas to which they refer and help to further the general movement in that 
direction which has at last been initiated. 


Irish Historical Studies, the joint Journal of the Irish Historical Society and 
the Ulster Society for Irish Historical Studies. Edited by R. Dudley 
Edwards and T. W. Moody. Dublin : Hodges, Figgis & Co., Vol. I, Nos. 
2 and 3, 5/8 each. 

Far too frequently of recent years we have witnessed the disappearance 
of useful, scholarly journals in this country. Irish Historical Studies is all 
the more to be welcomed therefore as a venture which not only promises to 
redeem what we have lost but which provides something quite new for serious 
students of Irish history. The second and third numbers, now forthcoming, 
amply justify the high hopes which were placed in the Journal on its inception 
last year, and there can be no doubt that its future as a scholarly publication 
of great value is assured. 

The second number, published in September, 19,38, contains a translation 
of the Old Irish " Life of St. Brigit " from the Bodleian MS. Rawlinson B 512 
by Dr. M. A. O'Brien, a paper on Anglo-Norman relations with Connacht, 
1169-1224, by Dr. R. Dudley Edwards, a note on the Anglo-Norman invasion, 
1167-1171, by Rev. Professor J. F. O'Doherty, two bibliographies, notes and 
book reviews. Dr. Edwards' paper is designed to trace the development of 
events in Connacht from Rory O'Connor's time to the death of Cathal Crove- 
derg, not so much for their bearing on the general trend of political events 
but in so far as Connacht as a more or less isolated entity is concerned. The 
bibliographies refer to the United Irishmen and their period, 1791-1798, and 
to research work on Irish history in Irish, British and American Universities 
for the year 1937-1938. This last is a most useful list of theses for higher 
degrees and its publication and continuance in future numbers should pre- 
vent any future overlapping of Irish historical work. 

There are two important articles in the third number, March, 1939, an 
historical criticism of the " Life of Hugh Roe O'Donnell " by the Rev. Paul 
Walsh (the " Book of Lughaidh O Cleirigh " edited under that title by Denis 
Murphy in 1893), and an account of Sir Thomas Phillips of Limavady, an 
Ulster planter of the early seventeenth century, by Dr. Moody. The biblio- 
graphical section is devoted to a list of writings on Irish history for 1937, 
with addenda for 1936, and there are the usual notes, correspondence and 


[ i89 ] 


During the past year the Society has suffered a grievous loss through the 
death of three of its most esteemed members — Mr. W. L. Burke, Rt. Rev. 
Mons. Considine, Dean of Galway, and Professor W. F. Trench. Mr. 
Burke was one of the oldest members of the Society, always interested in its 
proceedings, and a kind and helpful friend to the Editor, while Monsignor 
Considine, though not so long with us, did much to promote the welfare of 
the Society in Galway. Of Professor Trench's work on behalf of history and 
archaeology in the west of Ireland one cannot speak too highly. A fine Irish- 
man in the best sense of the words, he helped to found the Galway Society, 
and as Editor of the Journal for many years and a Vice-President of the 
Society until his death, he gave it unstinted support. To him, more than 
to any other individual member perhaps, the Society is indebted for its present 
sound condition. 

The Editor takes this opportunity to convey to the friends of these gentle- 
men the deepest sympathy of all the members of the Society. 

^altoan Jrcbncalogual t(' IVistoriral ^oruty. 



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